Samuel M. Yum
Examines different subjects or problems from an interdisciplinary framework.
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.
Class attendance, assigned readings, participation.
Class assignments and grading
Varied: short writing assignments, quizzes, final class project.