2017-2018 Catalog

ARTH 254 Critical Perspectives in Museum Studies

This course critically analyzes how the museum enterprise reflects and informs public culture. Students will gain an understanding of historical and current trends in museum studies and how these movements are impacted by shifting professional and popular standards. Topics include the collection and display of human beings as objects, the politics of national museums, racist memorabilia, indigenous curation methods, commodification and consumerism, repatriation, censorship, and contested ideas about authenticity and authority. Case studies are drawn primarily from the United States and Canada, and include the plantation museum, American Indian cultural centers, lynching postcards, the Holocaust Museum, and performance art. The relationship of the museum to a diverse public, with often-contested agendas, will be explored through class discussions, independent student projects, and written assignments.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Fine Arts
  • United States Diversity