Philosophy; Feminist Theory; Aesthetics; Museum Theory
Ph.D., University of Michigan
M.A., Middlebury College
B.A., Cornell University
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
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.
Hilde Hein is completing a book of essays that examine the fundamental transformation of museums in the past half-century. She advocates further revision in light of feminist theory.
Hein, Hilde. “The Responsibility of Representation: A Feminist Perspective” in The Routledge Companion to Museum Ethics: Redefining Ethics for the Twenty-First Century Museum, edited by Janet Marstine. New York: Routledge, 2011.
Hein, Hilde. Public Art: Thinking Museums Differently. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2006.