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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Samuel M. Yum
BIS 293
Bothell Campus

Special Topics

Examines different subjects or problems from an interdisciplinary framework.

Class description

Museums and Public Culture

Recent years have seen a proliferation of museums, galleries, and other public spaces dedicated to the exhibition and display of art and culture. Practitioners and critics alike have become increasingly aware of the problems of cultural representation and the call for new dialogue with constituents and others not previously given voice or equal stage time. This course is is an investigation of the ways in which culture has been conceptualized and exhibited in the public sphere. Discussion will focus on the analysis and interpretation of museum practices, the politics and poetics of display, and well as the reception and review of case examples. As a feature project the class will engage in the planning, staging, and self-assessment of a public exhibition.

Student learning goals

To explore the following questions: --How do museums represent culture? --How are museums themselves a form of cultural production? --How does museum work differ from previous modes of representation? --What limitations and possibilities exist with the spread of new media technologies?

To learn to construct effective descriptions and analyses

To analyze rhetorical and visual strategies of contemporary museum display

To develop our own model of museum-style display and communication

General method of instruction

Lecture, group discussion, case studies, project work.

Recommended preparation

Class attendance, assigned readings, participation.

Class assignments and grading

Varied: short writing assignments, quizzes, final class project.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Samuel M. Yum
Date: 09/17/2012