History and Theory of Museums (MSMS-GA 1500) Marisa Franz, Elaine Ayers. 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.
Museum Collections and Exhibitions (MSMS-GA 1501) Ramona Bannayan, Clare 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 and the urgent challenges facing museums today. We will examine how museums approach ideas around cultural mission, ethics and interpretation while trying to balance logistical practicalities and financial strategies. This seminar combines lectures, classroom discussion and guest speakers active in the international museum world to provide an understanding of the many core functions of museum practice from museum structures, mission statements, collection policies, documentation, assessment, conservation, storage, exhibition management, working with living artists, community, timelines and budgeting. Students perform classroom team table-top exercises, condition assessments, and conduct research leading to three writing assignments and two presentations.
Museum Management (MSMS-GA 1502) Helen Warwick. 4 points.
This course provides an overview of management, finance, and administration for those aspiring to managerial and supervisory positions in museums. Topics to be covered include mission; leadership and strategic planning; governance and institutional policy; organizational structure and the roles and relationships of museum departments; operational issues, including security and disaster planning; museum finance, including operating and capital expense budgeting; fundraising; and marketing and branding. Case studies taken from New York City museums will be analyzed, and all topics will be placed in the context of how museum staff best deliver programs, and serve their public communities most effectively.
Internship (MSMS-GA 3990) Rosanna Flouty. 2 points.
M.A. and Advanced Certificate students spend a minimum of 200 hours over one or more semesters in a project-oriented internship at a museum or other suitable institution. Students nearing completion of course prerequisites (MSMS-GA 1500, MSMS-GA 1501, and MSMS-GA 1502) must schedule a planning meeting with the Program's Internship Coordinator. A daily log, evaluations, and progress report are required. Students must earn a grade of B or better to receive the M.A. or Advanced Certificate. Further information is available in the Internship Guidelines Packet.
Research Seminar (MSMS-GA 3991) Miriam Basilio, Marisa Franz, Elaine Ayers. 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.
For M.A. Students:
We will assign writing groups in the Research Seminar, and we strongly encourage you to maintain these groups or form new groups as you write your thesis during the spring semester.
Students will be assigned individual thesis advisors in October. You will meet with your advisor before the end of the fall semester to establish a working plan for the winter break and spring semester. You are responsible for sending your Abstract, Annotated Bibliography, and Outline to your advisor before this meeting. You will also send the Introduction and Thesis Chapter to your advisor after completion in December.