2017-18 Catalog

Museum Studies

Student may minor in Museum Studies.

Faculty

Steering Committee
Carrie Robbins, Curator, Academic Liaison for Art and Artifacts
Lisa Saltzman, Chair and Professor of History of Art and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Chair in the Humanities
Monique Scott, Director of Museum Studies

Museum Studies is a pilot program that offers students a rich and dynamic education in both museum theory and practice. Students have the opportunities to learn about the history of museums and their roles in society as well as to engage with critical, theoretical museum scholarship. Through coursework and internships, students will also have the opportunity to gain practical hands-on experience in Bryn Mawr’s Special Collections as well as in museums in Philadelphia and beyond. This dynamic and inter-disciplinary program intersects disciplines such as the History of Art, Anthropology, Archaeology, History, Education, Cities, Biology and Geology.  The Bryn Mawr Museum Studies program aims to empower students to become significant contributors to various professions throughout museums, galleries and archives.

The Museum Studies program calls upon the College’s extensive collection of art and artifacts, rare books and prints, photographs and manuscripts, which facilitates research and experiential learning for students. Through Bryn Mawr’s Special Collections, students can draw upon the in-house expertise of a strong group of curators and other museum professionals working in the department.  Bryn Mawr is in close proximity to the museum-rich Philadelphia region, and students have the opportunity to work with distinguished and diverse museum professionals across the city.

Museum Studies Minor Curriculum

The requirements for the minor are six courses that include:

  • Core courses (2): “Museum Studies: History, Theory, Practice” and one course with an exhibition planning component, including the “Exhibition Seminar”
  • Elective courses (2-3): These can be courses officially taught in museum studies as well as courses in other disciplines that include museum studies content.

Students also can take advantage of relevant courses at Haverford and Swarthmore.  The Director of Museum Studies in addition to the Professor of the elective must deem the course acceptable as a museum studies course.

  • Experiential courses (1-2): Praxis courses and/or Fieldwork Seminar.

A student declares Museum Studies as a minor by meeting with the Director of Museum Studies and completing a minor work plan. The student can major in any department. Student internships in museums are considered vital “hands-on” learning opportunities for those who seek careers in museum practice.  Students will also be encouraged to seek summer museum internships.

Museum Studies Core Courses

  • HART B281  Museum Studies: History, Theory, Practice
  • HART B301 Topics in Exhibition Seminar
  • HART B200-level Fieldwork Seminar

COURSES

ANTH B271 Museum Anthropology: History, Politics, Practices
This course provides an in-depth exploration of museum anthropology: the critical study of museum practices from an anthropological perspective. The course will fundamentally consider the role of museums in exhibiting culture—the politics of placing cultures on display, from living humans and human remains to cultural objects and artifacts. The course will also consider changing practices in museum anthropology, including repatriation efforts, shifting notions of heritage and identity and the emergence of community-curated exhibitions. This course complements the theoretical explorations of the museum with visits to area museums and hands-on work in Special Collections.
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Counts towards: Museum Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2017-2018)

ARCH B102 Introduction to Classical Archaeology
A historical survey of the archaeology and art of Greece, Etruria, and Rome.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Counts towards: Museum Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Lindenlauf,A.
(Spring 2018)

ARCH B125 Classical Myths in Art and in the Sky
This course explores Greek and Roman mythology using an archaeological and art historical approach, focusing on the ways in which the traditional tales of the gods and heroes were depicted, developed and transmitted in the visual arts such as vase painting and architectural sculpture, as well as projected into the natural environment.
Approach: Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Counts towards: Museum Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2017-2018)

ARCH B306 Monumental Painting
The Mediterranean tradition of large-scale painting begins in prehistoric times and continues through Late Antiquity and beyond. Important examples survive on the walls of houses, tombs and other structures at sites in the Bronze Age Aegean, in Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic Anatolia, Macedonia, Magna Graecia, and Etruria, Rome and the famous sites of Pompeii and Hercul- aneum preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Technical, artistic, cultural and interpretive issues will be considered.
Counts towards: Museum Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): McFadden,S.
(Fall 2017)

FREN B105 Directions de la France contemporaine
An examination of contemporary society in France and Francophone cultures as portrayed in recent documents and film. Emphasizing the tension in contemporary French-speaking societies between tradition and change, the course focuses on subjects such as family structures and the changing role of women, cultural and linguistic identity, an increasingly multiracial society, the individual and institutions (religious, political, educational), and “les loisirs”. In addition to the basic text and review of grammar, readings are chosen from newspapers, contemporary literary texts and magazines, complemented by video materials. Prerequisite: FREN 005 or 101.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Counts towards: Museum Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Peysson-Zeiss,A., Sanquer,M.
(Spring 2018)

HART B226 Perspectives on African Art
This course is an exploration of a selected range of art that represent the role and place of art in Africa and demonstrate the changes in artwork over time. The course begins with an examination of what defines the art of Africa, and proceeds to seek an understanding of its philosophical underpinnings and aesthetics. It then conducts a cultural as well as an historical exploration of selected art traditions on the continent. The course will emphasize the diversity of African aesthetics as well as highlight the similarities and differences between African people within and across various artistic practices in secular and non-secular settings.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Counts towards: Africana Studies; Museum Studies; Praxis Program
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Labi,K.
(Fall 2017)

HART B279 Exhibiting Africa: Art, Artifact and New Articulations
At the turn of the 20th century, the Victorian natural history museum played an important role in constructing and disseminating images of Africa to the Western public. The history of museum representations of Africa and Africans reveals that exhibitions—both museum exhibitions and “living” World’s Fair exhibitions— has long been deeply embedded in politics, including the persistent “othering” of African people as savages or primitives. While paying attention to stereotypical exhibition tropes about Africa, we will also consider how art museums are creating new constructions of Africa and how contemporary curators and conceptual artists are creating complex, challenging new ways of understanding African identities.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Counts towards: Africana Studies; Museum Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2017-2018)

HART B281 Museum Studies: History, Theory, Practice
Using the museums of Philadelphia as field sites, this course provides an introduction to the theoretical and practical aspects of museum studies and the important synergies between theory and practice. Students will learn: the history of museums as institutions of recreation, education and leisure; how the museum itself became a symbol of power, prestige and sometimes alienation; debates around the ethics and politics of collecting objects of art, culture and nature; and the qualities that make an exhibition effective (or not). By visiting exhibitions and meeting with a range of museum professionals in art, anthropology and science museums, this course offers a critical perspective on the inner workings of the museum as well as insights into the “new museology.”
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI); Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Counts towards: Museum Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Feliz,M.
(Fall 2017)

HART B300 The Curator in the Museum
This course provides an introduction to theoretical and practical aspects of museums and to the links between practice and theory that are the defining characteristic of the museum curator’s work today. The challenges and opportunities confronting curators and their colleagues, peers, audiences, and constituents will be addressed through readings, discussions, guest presentations, writings, and individual and group projects.
Counts towards: Museum Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2017-2018)

HART B301 Topics in Exhibition Strategies
This is a topics course. Course content varies.
Counts towards: Museum Studies; Praxis Program
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2017-2018)

HART B316 Museum Studies Fieldwork Seminar
This course provides students a forum in which to ground, frame and discuss their hands-on work in museums, galleries, archives or collections. Whether students have arranged an internship at a local institution or want to pursue one in the Bryn Mawr College Collections, this course will provide a framework for these endeavors, coupling praxis with theory supported by readings from the discipline of Museum Studies. The course will culminate in a final poster presentation, an opportunity to reflect critically on the internship experience. Prior to taking the course, students will develop a Praxis Learning Plan through the LILAC office. All students will share a set syllabus, common learning objectives and readings, but will also be able to tailor those objectives to the specific museum setting or Special Collections project in which they are involved.
Counts towards: Museum Studies; Praxis Program
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2017-2018)

HART B318 Cultural Property and Museums
This course examines cultural heritage and the concept of cultural property in relation to museums and collections. We will consider the development of national and international laws in the 20th and 21st centuries to protect cultural heritage, museum responsibilities, and case studies on topics including the looting of archaeological sites, the fate of art during war, nationalism and politics, restitution of art, and fakes and forgeries.
Counts towards: Museum Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2017-2018)

HART B325 Care and Conservation of Contemporary Art
This course explores the ethics, principles, analysis and materials used in art conservation. Case studies, guest lectures, and museum visits will then introduce the unique problems involved in preserving, conserving and exhibiting contemporary art. There will be some hands on/lab component activities. Prerequisites: At least one previous HART course at Bryn Mawr College. Understanding of basic chemistry helpful.
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Attentive
Counts towards: Museum Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Weldon,M.
(Fall 2017)

HART B345 Topics in Material Culture
This is a topics course. Course content varies. Current topic description: This seminar will explore the myriad textile traditions of Asia. Through close study of woven objects in the Bryn Mawr Special Collections and visits to the Penn Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, this course will trace the history of the interconnected textile traditions of Eastern and Western Asia, from Chinese and Indonesian textile traditions to the weavings of Iran and Turkey. We will consider interdisciplinary approaches to textiles and the ways that textiles are catalogued and exhibited in museum spaces. As an advanced art history seminar, we will discuss how to write art historical essays that animate non-figural textiles and how to conduct research on decorative arts and material culture.
Counts towards: Museum Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Houghteling,S.
(Fall 2017)

HART B373 Contemporary Art in Exhibition: Museums and Beyond
How does the collection and display of artwork create meanings beyond the individual art object? In recent decades, enormous shifts have occurred in exhibition design as artwork projected from the walls of the museum, moved outdoors to the space of the street, and eventually went online. We will study an array of contemporary exhibition practices and sites in their social and historical contexts, including the temporary exhibition, “the white cube,” the “black box,” museum installations, international biennials, and websites. During the seminar, we will examine how issues such as patronage, avant-gardism, globalization, and identity politics have progressively brought museums and other exhibition spaces into question.
Counts towards: Museum Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Robbins,C.
(Fall 2017)

HART B374 Topics: Exhibition Seminar
This is a topics course. Course content varies. Students will gain practical experience in the production of an exhibition: conceiving a curatorial approach, articulating themes, writing didactics, researching a checklist, designing gallery layout, producing print and web materials, developing programs, and marketing the exhibit. Prerequisite: At least one previous HART course at Bryn Mawr College.
Counts towards: Museum Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2017-2018)

HIST B245 Focus: Topics in Modern US History
This is a topics course in 20th century America social history. Topics vary by half semester
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI); Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies; Museum Studies; Praxis Program
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Vider,S.
(Fall 2017)

HIST B274 Focus: Topics in Modern US History
This is a topics course in 20th century America social history. Topics vary by half semester
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI); Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies; Museum Studies; Praxis Program
Units: 0.5
(Not Offered 2017-2018)

HIST B349 Topics in Comparative History
This is a topics course. Topics vary.
Approach: Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Counts towards: Africana Studies; Museum Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Vider,S.
Spring 2018: Public History and Praxis

PSYC B231 Health Psychology
This course will provide an overview of the field of health psychology using lecture, exams, videos, assignments, and an article critique. We will examine the current definition of health psychology, as well as the theories and research behind many areas in health psychology (both historical and contemporary). The course will focus on specific health and social psychological theories, empirical research, and applying the theory and research to real world situations. Prerequisite: Introductory Psychology (PSYC B105) or Foundations of Psychology (PSYC H100)
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Counts towards: Health Studies; Museum Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2017-2018)