Emma Boast

MA'19

I’m an interdisciplinary curator and cultural programmer with a passion for creating compelling experiences and telling engaging stories that resonate with the public.  Before coming to Brown, I was the founding Director of Exhibitions and Programing at the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD). In this capacity, I oversaw the museum's exhibitions, public programming, and digital initiatives. Before that, I worked as an editor and English teacher in the orthopedic surgery department of a hospital in Japan. Long, long ago, I wrote an undergraduate thesis on the politics of postwar architecture and design in the New York City subway. These eclectic and wide-ranging interests and experiences have brought me to museums – spaces where generalists and thinker-doers like me thrive. My curatorial approach and interest in the Public Humanities is rooted in a belief that museums should be places not only of contemplation but also of conversation. In my work, I merge an innovative approach to the study of material culture with storytelling that is socially and politically engaged. At Brown, I hope to explore how museums can work with the public to connect everyday experience with new areas of knowledge, encourage debate, and create rhetorical space in which visitors can question and rewrite dominant narratives. Building on my experience at MOFAD, I plan to develop a theoretical framework for the public museum and use that theory to inform a practice of community centered, socially transformative curatorial work.