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The Exhibitions of Impact (EOI) special issue of American Behavioral Scientist consists of six articles from authors in communication studies and rhetoric, public health, medicine and bioethics, memory studies, and art therapy. Each article profiles some exhibition or memorial related to a pressing social issue, including gun violence, racist terrorism, domestic violence, religious fundamentalism, corporations selling harmful products, and how society treats those regarded as cognitively and behaviorally different. First, examples from today’s headlines show a global outcry over racist monuments and artifacts, and a global pandemic, which casts doubt on the future of exhibitions. Historical examples and explanatory concepts are introduced, with a focus on public exhibitions which issue suggestions or commands, brazenly or in more indirect ways. A look at medical and health exhibits makes explicit how exhibitions try to get us to do something while being informative. While summaries of each article show the topics are diverse, racism and health inequities emerge as underlying themes. After considering performative exhibits, there is a call for a bioethically informed exhibition studies, capable of navigating the wide variety of exhibits out there, and able to express allyship while troubleshooting urgent problems.


Lee, D. H. (2021). Exhibitions of Impact: Introducing the Special Issue. American Behavioral Scientist.



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