Reverently, this session will analyze audience response to the juxtaposition of discordant manifestations of museum identities. Irreverently, this session will explore how some museums have thrown centuries of time-tested techniques of interpretation out the window to appeal to the lowest common denominator through humor and irreverence. The humor, relatability, and legitimate news that come from sources such as The Daily Show have proven that people can appreciate both a well-timed joke about flatulence and a logical argument. Modern museums have many tools at their disposal to use irreverence and humor to create meaning with their visitors, and our panelists will explore this topic through facilitated interaction.

Education, Audience Research & Evaluation track generously supported by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights


  • Robert Rutherford
  • Julia Malta-Weingard
  • Cate Thurston
  • Stephanie Foster