Sentimental Education. Sound and Silence at History Museums

Steffi de Jong


Using an interdisciplinary approach, this article analyses the uses of sound and silence in three Polish history museums: POLIN – Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the Warsaw Rising Museum and the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow’s exhibition Krakow under Nazi Occupation 1939-1945. It argues that in these museums sounds and silence serve a sentimental education. They are used both to transmit historical knowledge in a sensorial way and to affectively engage visitors. Diegetic sounds thereby generally serve the transmission of historical knowledge, whereas non-diegetic sounds are used as affective triggers. In tis way, a sonic immersion is achieved that induces visitors to feel as if they were in the past as well as inviting them to emotionally engage with this past. 

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2018 Steffi de Jong

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360

University Home