This course provides a broad introduction to the museum world. Where and why did the concept of the public art museum emerge, and how have its functions changed over time? How do art museums continue to shape our definitions of what art is? Students will explore the history, role, and function of museums, investigate the art museum from historical and contemporary perspectives while acquiring some theoretical background. Starting with cabinets of curiosities in the sixteenth century, we will then discuss the birth of an institution open to the public in the 18th and 19th century, and look at the way it has evolved in the contemporary world. We will explore issues related to collecting art objects and the formation of museums in the United States, discuss different types of museums, their architecture and the way objects are displayed. We will also understand the different jobs and duties occurring in a museum including research, education, conservation and fundraising with a variety of hands-on experiences and field trips.
Art 414 – Exhibition Design T/TH 11am-12:15pm
This course will explore the world of museums and galleries through exhibition design. Students will study the curatorial process (exhibition content and design) as well as exhibition preparation including concept development, educational goals, budget, installation, and publicity. This class will consist of discussions, workshops, and museum visits, while students will gain practical experience in museum work by creating and installing exhibitions in spaces across campus.
SST 556 – Heritage Tourism in the South W 1-3:30pm
A multidisciplinary seminar for students who wish to employ theoretical and practical approaches to examining the movements of heritage site tourists within Southern regional spaces. The class gives special attention to issues of power and politics.
HST 461 – History on Location T/TH 11am – 12:15pm
This joint grad/undergrad public history course will focus on the papers and home of M. B. Mayfield, a pioneering Mississippi folk artist who was likely the first Black student to attend the University of Mississippi. The course will be open to both undergraduate and graduate students, who will work together under the direction of the faculty team to identify research questions, process materials, and conceptualize an exhibition. Graduate students will also write an additional essay on a topic of their choice related to gender and public history. Mayfield’s papers reveal that he identified as a gay man and participated in queer communities across the South. But that aspect of his identity is also complicated for his family and for community partners who are financing and overseeing his house museum. The course will tackle difficult questions for public historians, including what stories we tell about the past (and what stories we ignore) and who has the right to determine what is told and what is hidden?
CLC 360 – Archaeological and Museum Ethics MWF 2:00-2:50pm
This course will examine the ethical issues that govern the individuals and institutions involved in archaeology and museums. Students will examine the ethical, financial, legal, and political considerations affecting stakeholders of archaeology and museums.