Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Alexander Bauer

Subject Categories

African American Studies | American Studies | Native American Studies | Other History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | United States History


Museums, Decolonization, Covid-19 Pandemic


This paper explores three Archeology Museums (Historic St. Mary’s City, James Madison’s Montpelier, and the American Museum of Natural History), their attempts at addressing the colonial narratives that museums are built on, and how the Covid-19 pandemic and protests over George Floyd’s death affected these projects. I place a special effort on the online presence of these museums, as this is the main way visitors interacted with the museums during the pandemic. After discussing the origins of museum’s decolonization efforts and their efforts to make an online presence, I talk about the Covid-19 pandemic and the events around George Floyd’s death. Then, I take a deep dive into the three museums, their decolonization projects, their online presence, and how they responded to the protests. Finally, I discuss what happened to these museums and their projects once the pandemic and the protests were over. I argue that these museums’ projects did not come into fruition due to the institutions’ desire to change themselves, but rather due to the efforts of individuals inside these institutions collaborating with outside communities to make the changes themselves.

This work is embargoed and will be available for download on Saturday, September 30, 2023

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