Date of Award

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

English

Advisor

Barnett, Scot

Committee Member

Paul , Catherine

Committee Member

Beecher Field , Jonathan

Abstract

In this essay, I will problematize the narrative housed within the Creation Museum in order to question the function of interactive exhibits and sensation in the museum space. The Creation Museum, like many science centers, utilizes displays with sensory triggers under the guise of visitor empowerment, yet their exhibits are sensational rather than interactive. Playing on conventions of science centers and the supposed visitor agency permitted by interactive exhibits, the Creation Museum asserts a narrative informed by the Bible and fueled by sensory stimulation. My analysis of the Creation Museum reveals the degree to which sensation for AiG is not a conduit for visitor agency, but rather a rhetorical strategy for imposing creationist ideologies upon visitors. Although other science centers likely intend the type of empowerment disallowed by AiG, these institutions likewise preclude visitor experimentation and agency by providing answers to the scientific questions raised and proposing ideological narratives based upon institutional notions of scientific theory and progress.

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