On mushrooms and music museums


  • Katrin Losleben




This paper examines a feminist approach to curating music history and historiography. By exhibiting instruments, pictures, sounds, memorabilia of mostly composers, sometimes instrumentalists or instrument builders, music museums process narratives about music and its history to their visitors. Music history however is, as generations of feminist musicologists have pointed out, strongly shaped by the neglect of perspectives of female and non-heterosexual experiences. Historiography gravitates to and from male actors and taxonomies (Losleben 2017). As Meaghan Morris pointed out, feminism “is not easily adapted to heroic progress narratives”, in which these narratives are rooted and continue to contribute to; neither do feminist ideals and patriarchal structures in which museums are embedded go together well. My aim is to uncover from a feminist point of view these relations in which curating in ´ music instrument museums´ and popular music museums are embedded and how a feminist approach might be possible even so.


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Author Biography

Katrin Losleben

Katrin Losleben is trained as a musicology, literature and media scholar. She received her phD at the University for Music and Dance Cologne. Before joining the Arctic University of Norway in August 2017 as professor for feminist research, she has worked in different music museums. In her research, she points at the knottiness of culture, politics and gender (Musik – Macht – Patronage, Cologne 2011, Musik und Gender, Cologne 2012, “Von Arkadien zum Soundscape”, 2015, and “Auf irgendeine Art gesalbt” – (Auto-)Biografien von Musiker*innen”, 2019).



How to Cite

Losleben, K. (2019). On mushrooms and music museums. Septentrio Conference Series, (3). https://doi.org/10.7557/5.5097