Author Archives: Taylor Stoermer

Taylor Stoermer

About Taylor Stoermer

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Taylor was educated at the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Virginia where he earned his PhD in American History. Taylor’s scholarly work focuses on the interaction of political economics and political culture in the 18th-century British world. He also appears regularly in print, on the radio, on television, in public lectures, and in social media to comment on the people and ideas of American history and their modern relevance. Currently he is an adviser to C-SPAN for history content, a contributor to the Journal of the American Revolution, and the Director of Strategy, Development, and Historic Interpretation at Historic Huguenot Street.

What Museum Directors Can Learn From Game of Thrones

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game of thronesI’m usually the first to groan, occasionally quite loudly, when museum leaders tap into popular culture to gratuitously make their own points, especially when using the most tenuous of connections to justify otherwise unrelated programming in the name of increasing visibility.  And what possibly could the fictional, pseudo-medieval realm of Westeros, currently being fought over in its fourth season on HBO, have to teach museum directors?

After all, some of the series’ hallmarks—rampant nudity, murder, profanity, sex, and even incest (and all that in just the first episode)—tend to have very little to do with presenting the past to our modern guests, other than, of course, that it reflects the operative imperative of human nature that informs our work: people are messy, which is what makes telling their stories, and telling them well, such a terribly compelling endeavor. Continue reading