Anthropology In and Of Museums

No prerequisites needed for course.

This course considers “the museum” as an object of ethnographic inquiry, examining it as a social institution embedded in a broader field of cultural heritage that is perpetually under negotiation. We reflect on how museum principles of classification, practices of collection and exhibition, uptake of media, technology, and archiving have influenced the ways in which knowledge has been formed, presented, and represented; and interrogate the role of museums as significant social actors in broad anthropological debates on power, materiality, value, representation, culture, nationalism, circulation, aesthetics, science, history, and “new” technologies. By the end of the semester, students will have gained both historical and ethnographic perspectives on how museums help us to know and reproduce ourselves and “others,” and how these institutions craft, control, and circulate cultural heritage in various social lives.






Spring 2020

Urmila Mohan
M: 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM 25WV 706