Research Areas

Philosophy; Feminist Theory; Aesthetics; Museum Theory


Ph.D., University of Michigan

M.A., Middlebury College

B.A., Cornell University


Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Hilde Hein

Hilde Hein

Hilde Hein

Hilde Hein was born in Germany and grew up in California. She studied at Reed College and Cornell, and received her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Michigan. She taught at Los Angeles State University, Tufts, Boston University, and Holy Cross College. Her interests include philosophy of law, biology, feminist theory and American philosophy. Research in aesthetics led to work in and on museums. She curated several exhibitions and wrote three books on museum theory and practice: The Exploratorium: The Museum as Laboratory (1990), The Museum in Transition: A Philosophical Perspective (2000), Public Art: Thinking Museums Differently (2006). A long-term member of the American Society for Aesthetics, she brought museology and the study of museums into that organization. After retiring from Holy Cross, Dr. Hein served as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching English in Morocco. She also worked in the Jewish Museum in Casablanca, and described that experience in Curator: The Museum Journal and The Jewish Women’s Literary Annual. Her current project reprises a feminist endeavor of the 1970’s to reassess the basic teaching of western philosophy in America.

Current Projects

Although women bear increased responsibility in the management of contemporary institutions, feminist theory is rarely applied to them.
My book will examine museums and public art with a view to their revitalization in light of feminist theorizing.

Representative Publications

Hein, Hilde. “Addressing the Matter of Museums” in Journal of Museum Education, ed. Elisabeth Sommer, Jan 2012.

Hein, Hilde. “Museums and Aesthetics” in Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, 2nd ed. Michael Kelly, 2012.