Museums and Community (MSMS-GA 2228) Lima. 4 points.
We have witnessed a rise in civic engagement and social justice programming in museums today. Community, history, and fine arts museums now include civic activism, community participation, and community organizing in their mission and core activities. A movement toward civic engagement and social justice manifests in all aspects of museum practice, including exhibition, education, and collections care. In this seminar, we investigate the theoretical underpinnings of these programs along with their practical implementation and evaluation. We assess museum activism in the context of inequality and racism within the museum itself and community resistance against museums. Students build an understanding of community programming in the context of current literature on the museum in the public sphere, the museum as contact zone, placemaking, and museum ethics. Guest speakers address community-based programming, including the logistics of program development, program evaluation, and program website design. The seminar combines project-based learning with reading, discussion, and writing about theory that motivates and critiques community-based museum programming. Students choose their own final projects. Options include assessing an existing community-based museum program, designing a new museum-based program and developing its website, and writing a seminar paper.
Development, Fund-raising, and Grantsmanship: Funding the 21 st Century Museum (MSMS-GA 2221) Warwick, 4 points.
In the 21st century museums worldwide need creative fundraising to survive. This course provides a comprehensive overview of museum fundraising practices and an introduction to the skills and processes necessary for effective fundraising. Focusing in particular on the funding environment in the USA – but referencing other international models – topics covered include an overview of sources of funding and types of fundraising (capital campaign; planned giving, benefit events etc.) and a survey of procedures for identifying available funds. Invited guests from a range of museum environments will discuss examples of successful fundraising. Students will complete various examples of fundraising approach (individual solicitations and grant requests, for example) and a comprehensive fundraising strategy for a museum project of their choice.
Research Seminar (MSMS-GA 3991) Required of all MA and Advanced Certificate candidates. Staff. 2 points.
This course includes candidates for both the Advanced Certificate and the M.A. in Museum Studies. The class is designed to help students identify a research question, navigate relevant primary and secondary sources, and produce a well-written, well-organized research paper at the end of the term. For those in the Advanced Certificate program, the course will focus on a final 30-page (double-spaced) Museum Studies research paper. M.A. students will focus on writing an introduction and one chapter of a master’s thesis.
The research seminar provides students with a collective structure and series of deadlines as they develop individual research projects. Students will be responsible for their own research and writing, as well as thoughtful reading and comments in writing groups.
Museum Collections and Exhibitions (MSMS-GA 1501) Bannayan, Bell. 4 points.
As an introduction to the policies and procedures of collection and exhibition management, this seminar will consider issues involved in day-to-day museum operations alongside the urgent challenges facing museums today. We will examine how museums approach ideas around cultural mission, and ethics while trying to balance logistical practicalities and other strategies. This seminar combines lectures, classroom discussion, site visits and guest speakers active in the museum world. We will review the many core functions of museum practice, from museum structures, mission statements, DEAI policies, collection policies, documentation, stewardship, sustainability, storage, exhibition management, working with living artists, community, timelines and budgeting. Students will discuss readings, perform practical and theoretical table-top exercises, along with submitting short writing assignments, and making presentations. Each student will have the opportunity to pursue their own research interests in a final exhibition proposal.
Museums and Contemporary Art (MSMS-GA 3335) Hatfield. 4 points.
This course investigates historical, theoretical, and practical aspects of the collecting and exhibiting of contemporary art in museums. Topics include curatorial strategies for exhibition and collection development, conservation issues, museums and social activism, and conflicts of interest that arise for museum staff and trustees.
History and Theory of Museums (MSMS-GA 1500) Staff. 4 points.
Introduction to the social, cultural, and political history of museums. This course focuses on the formation of the modern museum with an emphasis on the US context. Museums of Natural History, Anthropology, Science, Technology, History, and Art will be addressed from a variety of disciplinary approaches that explore the institution and its practices with respect to governance, colonialism, nationalism, class, gender, ethnicity, and community. Weekly visits to New York museums are required, along with frequent reading response papers, an exhibition review, and a final paper.
Museums and Interactive Technologies (MSMS-GA 2225) Flouty. 4 points.
The course will present a survey and analysis of museum use of interactive technologies. Among the topics to be discussed in detail are strategies and tools for collections management, exhibitions, educational resources and programs, website design, digitization projects, and legal issues arising from the use of these technologies. Each student will develop an interactive project in an area of special interest.
Museum Education (MSMS-GA 2224) Vatsky. 4 points.
This seminar provides an overview of the field of Museum Education. Museum Education is considered in the context of the institution’s relationship to its multiple constituent communities, with application to a broad range of audiences. Among the topics to be considered are learning strategies, teaching from objects, program planning, and assessment, and exhibition interpretation.