Feminist storytelling in the museum

Uncovering pedagogies of critique, possibility, and agency


  • Darlene E. Clover University of Victoria


How are feminists resisting and disruptive normative, often millennia old patriarchal storytelling practices in museums around the world? This article shares my findings of the work of feminists in public art and history and women’s and gender museums and the different stories they tell in the interests of gender justice and change. Visiting exhibitions and perusing websites, I found a plethora of innovative practices of herstorying, animating, reframing, recentering, rescripting, gender bending and revisualizing that offered both a language of critique and a language of possibility. I argue that as feminists shatter the complacency of entrenched masculine narratives they are curating a new consciousness, memory and sense of agency. As practices of feminist adult education museum storytelling aims to transform experiences of oppression into critical insights and place women and others oppressed by gender norms into more significant roles as historical and contemporary knowers and socio-cultural actors.

Author Biography

Darlene E. Clover, University of Victoria

Darlene’s international and national research over the past 10 years has focused on the women’s political education and learning and the arts as tools of critical adult education and learning, research and community development. Dr. Darlene Clover has been focusing on art galleries and museums in Canada and the United Kingdom as important sites of critical pedagogy and social activism.