Introduction to Museum Studies, A503



Dr. Elizabeth Kryder-Reid                                                                 Fall Semester, 2009

Director, IUPUI Museum Studies                                                      Thursday, 6:00-8:40 pm

Cavanaugh Hall 419                                                                           Cavanaugh Hall, Rm. 435

425 University Blvd                                                                           (and area museums)

Indianapolis IN 46202-5140                                                               A503 sect. #16433, 3 cr.

(317) 274-1406                                                                          


Office Hours:

Thurs. 2:00-3:00, 8:40-9:15 pm

and by appointment.


Please feel free to e-mail, phone, or meet with me if you have any questions or concerns throughout the semester. In general, e-mail is the best way to reach me, and is much faster than OnCourse mail. I also have a mailbox in CA413 if you need to drop something off.


Course Description:

This survey of museology introduces students to the history of museums and to debates on the philosophical nature of museums.  The course covers the types and definitions of museums.  It traces the history of museums, discusses contemporary practice in museums, and examines current issues in the museum profession as it faces the future of museums in the twenty-first century.  The course explores museums’ missions and their roles in society through case studies and exhibitions in a variety of museums including art, history, and ethnographic museums.


Course Objectives:

At the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the history and organization of museums
  • Debate museum ethical issues
  • Discuss critically, in written and verbal form, current issues in the philosophy of museums, museum missions, representation of the past, interpretation of cultural objects, and the role of museums in society
  • Evaluate critically a museum exhibition
  • Locate the core museum studies literature, principal museum organizations, and museum reference sources including on-line resources
  • Conduct original research on a topic related to indigenous people and museums and present that research in written form and as an illustrated talk
  • Work collaboratively with others in team based learning and problem solving
  • Articulate why museums matter in a self-reflective essay
  • Discuss critically his or her own goals and aspirations as a museum professional


Course Requirements:

  • Complete assigned readings and web visits
  • Attend regularly and participate actively in discussions, presentations, and exercises
  • Complete three reflective essays
  • Participate in two Ethics Bowls in capacities of scenario writers, moderators, judges, and debaters (The ethics bowl URL is
  • Write a book review
  • Complete an independent, original research project and communicate that research in a formal academic paper and in a poster/exhibit panel on a museum’s relevance and impact


If you have any questions about any of these assignments, please see Dr. Kryder-Reid well in advance of the due dates.


Course Evaluation:

Graduate Students’ grades will be based on a student's total score out of a possible 100 points weighted in the following manner:

            Participation in presentations, discussions and exercises                        5 pts.                      

            Book Review  (500-750 words)                                                           15 pts.

            Reflective essays (3 @ 10 pts. each)                                                    30 pts.

            Ethics Bowls participation and/or essay (see guide for details)           10 pts.

Research Project

            12-15 pp. paper                                                                         30 pts.

Research poster                                                                         10 pts.

                                                            Total possible points                           100 pts.


The grading scale:

100-98 = A+  

93-97   = A

90-92   = A-

88-89   = B+

83-87   = B

80-82   = B-

78-79   = C+

73-77   = C

70-72   = C-

68-69   = D+

63-67   = D

60-62       = D-

0-59           = F


Expectations, policies, and resources:

Your participation:

·         It is expected that students will contribute their ideas, thoughts, and reflections to class discussions, and will listen respectfully to the contributions of others in the class.

  • The class focuses on critical, self-reflective thinking, integrates knowledge from a variety of disciplinary and sociocultural perspectives, examines social and cultural complexity, and probes the impact of knowledge on ethical decision-making for museum professionals. The value of the course in your professional development will be determined by the extent that you entering into the debates, discussions, critical reflections, and class projects with intentional and thoughtful
  • It is expected that students will complete the assigned work in a thorough and timely manner.  If it appears that students are not prepared for class, unannounced quizzes may be given. This syllabus includes deadlines for all assignments and details of in-museum classes: it is your responsibility to know when assignments are due and where classes are scheduled. Late assignments will be penalized a half letter grade for every week they are late unless arrangements have been discussed and approved prior to the due date.
  • It is expected that essays will represent thoughtful and close examination of museum sites and exhibits.  It is expected that research projects will reflect scholarly research, original thinking, and independent direction.  (Dr. Kryder-Reid is available during offices hours and by appointment or via e-mail for consultation or assistance.  Please do not hesitate to come and talk or ask questions about any aspect of the class)
  • It is expected that students will make every effort to attend all classes, especially those meeting in museums, and will notify Dr. Kryder-Reid as soon as possible in the event they must miss class or an assignment deadline due to an emergency.  Absence in more than three classes may severely affect the final grade. Participation grade represents both attendance and active engagement in class activities. In the event of an emergency or illness that keeps you from attending class, please send me an e-mail as soon as possible so that I have a record of your excused absence. I do not need doctor’s documentation. You are graduate students and I trust your seriousness of purpose and commitment to your own education.


Course mechanics, communication, and technical details

  • All written work is to be typed, double-spaced, and is to follow scholarly conventions of academic writing (i.e. proper citations, grammar, no contractions, etc.).  Writing matters in museum work and in life. You may use any common style guide you wish (MLA, Chicago, AAA, etc.) as long as you use it consistently. A note: I expect the proper use of it’s/its (my particular pet peeve) and there/their/they’re.  If their usage confounds you, please see a grammar guide.
  • Unless otherwise noted, written assignments should be submitted electronically as attachments in Word format via e-mail to prior to class on the due date listed in the syllabus. Late submission will be penalized unless prior arrangements have been discussed and approved.
  • For classes meeting in museums only pencil may be used (i.e. no ink pens) due to conservation concerns.
  • Because of the collaborative nature of the class and the fact we frequently meet off campus, close communication will be essential.  Please regularly check the On-Course web site for course announcements, especially on the day of a class, to keep apprised of any announcements or last minute changes. Any changes to the syllabus will be made to the on-line syllabus. Please use my campus e-mail (rather than phone or On-Course mail) for the promptest response. 
  • Students are responsible for activity on their computer accounts.
  • It is expected that students will fulfill their responsibilities and maintain standards of intellectual honesty in keeping with the academic policies of the University (see Student Code of Conduct available at  Any instance of plagiarism or other violation of the standards of intellectual honesty will result in a zero for the assignment and, depending on the nature of the incident, further disciplinary action.
  • If you have learning problems that might require special accommodation for completion of class assignments, please notify me of these matters within the first two or three class periods. I’ll make every effort to make things work for you. You may wish to contact Adaptive Educational Services (AES), Cavanaugh Hall, Suite 001E , 425 University Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46202–5140, Tel: (317) 274–3241, TDD/TTY: (317) 278–2050, Fax: (317) 278–2051, Email: Staff there can provide a range of assistance.

·         If you have a problem you don't know how to solve, the Student Advocate Office may be of help. They will answer your questions, direct you to the appropriate departments and people, familiarize you with university policies and procedures, and give you guidance as you look at ways to solve problems and make choices. The Student Advocate Office is located in UC002 and can be contacted by phone at 278-7594 or email at For more information, see the Student Advocate website at:

·         This is a large university and there are lots of policies, rules, etc. I recommend the “Registrar’s Home Page” which is a useful source of information and suggest you bookmark Please also note that as of August 14, 2006, IUPUI became a smoke free campus.  For more information see: For information regarding drop/add policies and dates see:


Class Web Site: This class has a well-developed web site in support of the class. You will find it linked from the class OnCourse site. The url is Be sure to look at it regularly.


OnCourse: The class is also supported by a web environment called "OnCourse". OnCourse provides you with an on-line syllabus, grade book, and a way of communicating with fellow students through threaded discussions or e-mail.  The grade book is an especially helpful way of checking the status of your assignments.  Please check it regularly to see what assignments have been handed in.  If you think you have turned something in and a grade has not been posted, please contact me immediately. The Schedule page will have posted PowerPoint presentations and pdf files of the readings not in the textbooks.


The latest Quick Start guide, titled OnCourse CL Quick Start Guide: For Students  is linked on the OnCourse CL Training & Support page as a printable PDF file and ready for use.              []


Readings:  All readings are on-line (on the web or pdf files posted to OnCourse) unless otherwise noted. The learning objectives in this course are realized through experiential problem-based learning and through the exploration and application of ideas and concepts encountered in readings and class presentations.  For you to be able to discuss, analyze, integrate, and apply the new ideas and concepts it is critical that you read the arguments of the authors closely and critically in advance of the class where we discuss them.  The class only meets once a week, so leave yourself time to read and digest the material each week.  The readings are available on-line or on the OnCourse “resources” page as pdf files and on the course web site.


Web site visits:  Students must visit the web sites listed in the syllabus and be prepared to comment in class on the sites’ relevance to the issues being addressed in that week's discussion or, where noted, be familiar with the site as a professional resource.


I encourage you, if you're not doing this already, to join and contribute to one or more museum networking site. I particularly like Museum 3.0 at: as a place for debate on current issues and topics. The Emerging Museum Professional site is also a great resource for building your professional network. There's no local chapter, yet, but you could be an instigator and form one! (    


Museum Visits: In addition to the class meetings in museums, you are required to visit museums on your own to complete assignments.  A selected list of area museums is on the course web site.  These museums are one of our greatest teaching resources for the class, so please allow enough time to look, listen, think, and learn.


Regarding costs – There is no lab fee and or textbook cost, but you will probably need to pick up the expense of parking and/or admission for your museum visits. Some museums, such as the Indiana Historical Society and the IMA are free to anyone. The Eiteljorg Museum are free to anyone with an IUPUI JagTag.  For museums that charge admission, such as the Indiana State Museum, Conner Prairie, the Indianapolis Zoo, and The Children’s Museum, you should check out student rates and the annual membership price.  Often it pays to join as a member if you expect to come more than twice or have a family. We may also partner with the Museum Studies club on a fall field trip – stay tuned for more details….


The Ethics Bowl: The ethics bowl is designed as a fun, team-based way to connect the principles of ethical museum practice to the realities of museum work. We will discuss more details in class and you can also consult the web site:
Summary of class schedule, topics, location, and due dates

Tentative schedule – see OnCourse and web site for updates




Assignments DUE

Aug. 27


Stereotypes and how we think about museums and why they matter

VIDEO: “A Night at the Museum”

CA 435/6:00


Sept. 3

What is a museum?: Legal, historical,  organizational and ethical contexts; stakeholders missions

Introduction to the Ethics Bowl (joint w/A403)

CA 435/6:00

·         Research topic due

·         Team presentations

Sept. 10

Serving communities and representing the past: history and heritage

Special presentation by Karen Zimmerman: "Resources for museum research"

CA 435/6:00

·         Book review title due


Sept. 17

CASE STUDY: Indiana Historical Society, Trina Nelson Thomas, guest speaker

CA435/ 6:00


·         Scenario drafts for Ethics Bowl #1

Sept. 24

Thinking about objects and contexts: Where do objects get their meaning? Where do museums get objects?

VIDEO: (In and Out of Africa, Mr Dial Has Something to Say)

CA 435/6:00

·         Prepare for Ethics Bowl #1 (on-going)

·         ASSIGNMENT #1: Museum authority essay

Oct. 1

Case Study: Curators, exhibits, and objects - Indianapolis Museum of Art




·         Graduate research project annotated bibliography

·         Prepare for Ethics Bowl #1 (on-going)

Oct. 8

First Ethics Bowl (details to follow)


CA – various rooms

·         Ethics bowl #1


Oct. 15

collections and Collecting – idea, history, practice


CA 435/6:00

·         Grad. book review

·         Scenario drafts for Ethics Bowl #2

Oct. 16-17

IMA Symposium: Sacred and Profane in The Early Modern Hispanic World

Friday at IMA /

Sat at IUB

·         Strongly recommended for all graduate students

Oct. 22

Case Study: Sacred Spain

IMA/ 6:00,  meet at front desk

·         Prepare for Ethics Bowl #2 (on-going)

Oct. 29

Who owns the past: Cultural property, cultural patrimony and representation

VIDEOS: Minik: The Lost Eskimo; Return of the Sacred Pole


·         ASSIGNMENT #2: Museums and conscience

Nov. 5

Second Ethics Bowl


·         Research paper thesis and outline

·         Ethics bowl #2

Nov. 12

Case Study “Take me There: Egypt” at The Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum/6:00

·         ASSIGNMENT #3: Why museums matter

Nov. 14

Eiteljorg Native American Fellowship Symposium: Art Quantum

Eiteljorg Museum

·         Strongly recommended for all graduate students

Nov. 19

Case Study: the Eiteljorg Museum’s Native American Fellowship  [Jennifer Complo-McNutt]

Eiteljorg Museum/6:00

·         Research paper draft

Nov. 26




Dec. 3

Graduate research presentations


·         Poster Presentations

Dec. 10

Concluding discussion


·         Final Papers

Tentative Schedule of Classes and Assignments


AUGUST 27:  Week 1 — Introduction to course goals and structure; overview of museum studies; how we think about museums and why they matter


Watch “Night at the Museum” (the original one) if you haven’t already seen it. The movie is available from Netflicks, libraries, and local video rental stores. You could even get together for a movie night!, We will use the film for class discussion about perceptions about the value of museums, stereotypes of museum professionals, and other themes


Divide into 3 teams for 9/3 presentations.


September 3:  Week 2 ― What is a museum? Missions and mission statements, Legal, historical, organizational and ethical contexts; stakeholders; ethics bowl

DUE: Name of the museum for your research project (see directions at end of syllabus); team presentations (see below)


Three teams will present in class:

Team A) Using the web, review museum sites that include a mission statement.  Explore their activities, programs, collections, etc. to see how they live into that mission. Then pick a museums for each of the criteria below. Prior to class, post the URLs to the OnCourse forum. In class, present your selections and explain your rationale with supporting evidence from the web site.

·         Museum you think provides the greatest benefit to its community (however "community" is defined)

·         Museum that you think shouldn't exist

·         Museum you find most inspiring

·         Museum you find most bizarre

·         Museum you would most like to work in (these can be individual selections for each team member)



      Teams B&C) Teams B and C will visit sites from either the Civil War or the Edison museums and present a brief analysis of the museums, comparing and contrasting each museum’s mission, interpretive stance, and relationship to its community. The presentations should be concise (no more than 10 minutes) and visual (either PPT or with live feed to the web sites), so divide the work and coordinate your presentation.

Team B: Civil War related museums

·         Museum of the Confederacy:

·         National Museum of the Civil War Soldier:

·         Gettysburg National Battlefield Park

·         Valley of the Shadow Project:

·         Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum:


            Team C: Thomas A. Edison related museums

·         Edison Birthplace Museum:

·         Edison National Historic Site:

·         Edison-Ford Winter Estates:

·         Thomas A. Edison Menlo Park Museum:



                *American Association of Museums (AAM): What is a museum?


Kenneth Hudson, “Attempts to Define ‘Museum’” In Representing the Nation: A Reader (London: Routledge, 1999), 371-379.


Excellence and Equity, pp.3-15


Gail Anderson, Museum Mission Statements: Building a Distinct Identity. pp.12-17. (Washington: AAM, 1998).


Carol Duncan, “From the Princely Gallery to the Public Art Museum: The Louvre Museum and the National Gallery, London” In Representing the Nation: A Reader (London: Routledge, 1999), 304-331.


Tony Bennett, “The Exhibitionary Complex,” In Representing the Nation: A Reader (London: Routledge, 1999), 332- 361.


Charles Coleman Sellers.  Ch. 1 “A New Science for a New Era,” In Mr. Peale’s Museum: Charles Willson Peale and the First Popular Museum of Natural Science and Art (WW. Norton and Co., 1979), 1-20.


Weil, Stephen, “From Being about Something to Being for Somebody: The Ongoing Transformation of the American Museum.” In Making Museums Matter (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 2002), pp.28-52.


Duncan F. Cameron, “The Museum, a Temple or Forum” Reinventing the Museum, pp.61-79.


ICOM Code of Ethics (for familiarity with topics covered by the code)   Hint: handy for the ethics bowl


AAM Code of Ethics (for familiarity with topics covered by the code) Hint: handy for the ethics bowl


Web Sites: (for general familiarity with professional organizations and resources)

International Coalition of Sites of Conscience:


                AAM American Association of Museums: (for general resource and ref.)


ICOM International Council of Museums (for general resource and ref.)


In addition, all students should visit at least three of these sites to be familiar with their variety of missions and museum activities. Try to find the mission statement and then see how they realize that mission through their spaces, programs, collections, exhibits and other activities.

¨      El Museo del Barrio:

¨      The Exploratorium:

¨      United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

¨      Te Papa Museum,

¨      Lower East Side Tenement Museum:

¨      Wing Luke Asian Museum:

¨      The Metropolitan Museum of Art:

¨      Science Museum of Minnesota:

¨      The Mashantucket Pequot Museum, Connecticut:


SEPTEMBER 10:  Week 3 — Serving communities and representing the past: history and heritage

DUE: Graduate student book review title (see directions at end of syllabus)

Special presentation by Karen Zimmerman: "Resources for museum research"



Richard Handler and Eric Gable, “Why History Changes, or Two Theories of History Making” (Chapter 3) The New History in an Old Museum: Creating the Past at Colonial Williamsburg, (Durham: Duke University Press, 1997) pp.50-77.


David Lowenthal, “Fabricating Heritage” History & Memory 10, no. 1 (1998): 5-24.


Dell Upton, “Authentic Anxieties,” in Consuming Tradition, Manufacturing Heritage: Global Norms and Urban Forms in the Age of Tourism, ed. Nezar AlSayyad (Hampshire: Ashgate, 2001), 300-301.


Laurajane Smith and Emma Waterton, Ch. 1 “Heritage, Communities and Archaeology: A History,” In Heritage, Communities and Archaeology (London: Duckworth , 2009), 21-40.


Rhiannon Mason, “Conflict and Complement: An Exploration of the Discourses Informing the Concept of the Socially Inclusive Museum in Contemporary Britain,” International Journal of Heritage Studies 10, no.1 (March 2004), 49-73


Ron Chew, “Taking Action: Advocates? Or Curators of Advocacy?” Museum News         March/April 2004, pp. 38-43.


Read one (or more if you want!) of the following case studies and be prepared to summarize them for class discussion:

“West as America”

Alan Wallach, “The Battle over ‘The West as America’” In Exhibiting Contradiction: Essays on the Art Museum in the United States (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998), 105-117.


Enola Gay

Edward Linenthal, “Anatomy of a Controversy” In History Wars: The Enola Gay and Other Battles for the American Past, ed. By Edward T. Linenthal and Tom Engeljardt (New York: Metropolitan Books,  1994), 9-62.


Vera L. Zolberg, Museums as Contested Sites of Remembrance: the Enola Gay Affair In Theorizing Museums: Representing Identity and Diversity in a Changing World eds. Sharon Macdonald and Gordan Fyfe (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996), 69-82.


New Zealand/Maori

Moira Simpson, “From Treasure House to Museum…and Back,” From Making Representations: Museums in the Post-Colonial Era. Routledge, 2001. pp. 107-133.


SEPTEMBER 17:  Week 4  Case Study: Indiana Historical Society

Guest Speaker: Trina Nelson Thomas

[NOTE - most case studies meet in the museum, but this class will meet in Cavanaugh Hall due to construction at IHS]

DUE: Scenario drafts for Ethics Bowl #1 (email to both and



Indiana Historical Society, Annual Report (pdf on OnCourse) and general background,   


Stephen E. Weil “A Success/Failure Matrix for Museums.” Museum News Jan/Feb 2005, pp.36-40.


David Carr, “Museums and Public Trust” The Promise of Cultural Institutions, (Walnut Creek, Alta Mira, 2003), pp.109-130.


Spencer R. Crew and James E. Sims “Locating Authenticity: Fragments of a Dialogue” In Exhibiting Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display, pp.159-175.


Stephen D. Lavine, “Audience, Ownership, and Authority: Designing Relations Between Museums and Communities” In Museums and Communities: the Politics of Public Culture (Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992), 137-157.


Web Sites

For familiarity with professional organizations and resources visit:

·         American Association of State and Local History:

·         American Historical Association:


SEPTEMBER 24:  Week 5:  Thinking about objects and contexts

DUE: Assignment #1 (Museum Authority reflective essay) sent to


            Videos: In and Out of Africa (in-class viewing)

            Mr. Dial has Something to Say” (view before class, streaming video)



Elaine Heumann Gurian, “What is the Object of This Exercise?: A Meandering Exploration of the Many Meanings of Objects in Museums” Reinventing the Museum, pp.269-283.


Christine F. Kreps,Ch. 2 “The Eurocentric Museum Model in the Non-European World” and Ch. 3 “Indigenous Models of Museums, Curation, and Concepts of Cultural Heritage Preservation”  In Liberating Culture: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Museums, Curation and Heritage Preservation. (London: Routledge, 2003).


Edmund Barry Gaither, “Hey! That’s Mine”: Thoughts on Pluralism and American MuseumsMuseums and Communities: The Politics of Public Culture, (1992) pp.56-64.


Susan Vogel “Always True to the Object, in Our Fashion.” Exhibiting Cultures, pp.191-204


Lisa G. Corrin, “Mining the Museum: An Installation in Confronting History” Reinventing the Museum, pp. 248-263.


Recommended Readings:

Aufderheide,  Patricia,  Shifting Narratives and Mutable Meanings: In and Out of Africa. American Anthropologist 1994, 96 (4): 956-958.


Nichols, Bill “Dislocating Ethnographic Film: In and Out of Africa and Issues of Cultural Representation.” American Anthropologist 1997, 99 (4): 810-824

“Mr. Dial Has Something to Say” – Alabama Public Television web site


OCTOBER 1:  Week 6:Case Study: Curators, Exhibits and Objects: American Art and African Art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Meet: At IMA’s main entrance at 6:00. We will start with Dr. Warkel and then proceed to the African Art Gallery

Guest Speaker: Harriet Warkel (Curator, American Painting and Sculpture), IMA


DUE: Annotated bibliography for research project



Harriet Warkel, Blog Posts, Indianapolis Museum of Art





Anthony Shelton, “Curating African Worlds” In Museums and Source Communities, eds. Laura Peers and Alison K. Brown (London: Routledge, 2003), pp.181-193.


Baxandall, Michael, “Exhibiting Intentions: Some Preconditions of the Visual Display of Culturally Purposeful Objects.”  In Exhibiting Cultures, pp.33-41.


Moira G. Simpson, “Voices of Authorship” In Making Representations: Museums in the Post-Colonial Era, rev. ed. (London: Routledge, 1996, 2001) pp.51-69.


Web Site

Indianapolis Museum of Art:

            Read for background as well as mission and support statement (at bottom of page)


For familiarity with professional organizations and resources visit:

·         NAME (National Association of Museum Exhibition):

·         Curator’s Committee (an SPC of AAM):

·         Association of Art Museum Curators:

·         College Art Association:

·         Association of Art Museum Directors:


OCTOBER 8:  Week 7 ― First Ethics Bowl


OCTOBER 15:  Week 8 — Collections and collecting: idea, history, practice

DUE: Book review

DUE: Scenario drafts for Ethics Bowl #2 (email to both and



Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, “Why we need things,” in History from Things: Essays on Material Culture, ed. Steven Lubar and W. David Kingery (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993), 22-23.


Susan Pearce, “Collecting Process,” On  Collecting: an Investigation into Collecting in the European Tradition ( London: Routledge, 1995), 3-35..


Janet Owen, “Collecting Artefacts, Acquiring Empire; Exploring the relationship between Enlightenment and Darwinist Collecting and Late-Nineteenth-Century British Imperialism.” Journal of the History of Collections, vol. 18, no. 1 (2006), 9-25.


Ken Hillis, “Auctioning the Authentic: eBay, Narrative Effect, and the Superfluity of Memory,” In Everyday eBay: Culture, Collecting, and Desire, eds. Ken Hillis, Michael Petit and Nathan Scott Epley (New York: Routledge, 2006), 167-184.


Christopher Chippindale and David W. J. Gill, “Material Consequences of Contemporary Classical Collecting” American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 104, No. 3 (Jul., 2000), pp. 463-511.


Stephen Weil, “Collecting Then, Collecting Today; What’s the Difference?,” In Making Museums Matter (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 2002), pp.141-150.

Stephen Weil, “Twenty-One Ways to Buy Art,” In Making Museums Matter (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 2002), pp.151-155


Nic Poole, “Social Media and Social History” Blog post about “citizen curators” at:



Read one (or more if you want!) of the following six case studies and be prepared to summarize them for class discussion:

·         Deanna MacDonald, “Collecting a New World: The Ethnographic Collections of Margaret of Austria,” The Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 33, No. 3 (Autumn, 2002), pp. 649-663.

·         Andrew McClellan, “The Luxembourg Gallery, 1750-79” In Inventing the Louvre: Art, Politics, and the Origins of the Modern Museum in Eighteenth-Century Paris (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), 13-48.

·          “Augustus Henry Pitt-Rivers Describes Classification and Typology” In The Collector’s Voice: Imperial Voices, eds. Susan Pearce, Rosemary Flanders, Mark Hall, and Fiona Morton (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002), 59-64. (see also the Pitt-Rivers Museum web site: and the details of their recent reinstallation).

·         Molly Lee, “Tourism and Taste Cultures: Collecting Native Art in Alaska at the Turn of the Twentieth Century In Unpacking Culture: Art and Commodity in Colonial and Postcolonial Worlds, eds. Ruth B. Phillips and Christopher Steiner (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).

·         Gabriel Moshenska, "A Hard Rain: Children's Shrapnel Collections in the Second World War," Journal of Material Culture. 2008; 13: 107-125.

·         Lisa Bloom, “The Contradictory Circulation of Fine Art and Antiques on eBay,” In Everyday eBay: Culture, Collecting, and Desire, eds. Ken Hillis, Michael Petit and Nathan Scott Epley (New York: Routledge, 2006), 231-243.


Web Visits

Center for the History of Collecting in America,


OCTOBER 16-17: IMA Symposium "Sacred and Profane in the Early Modern Hispanic World" (Friday at the IMA; Saturday at Indiana University, Bloomington) Details will be given in class. This symposium is strongly recommended for all students as it will be a chance learn more about the topic for the following week's case study, and a chance to experience an aspect of a museum curator's scholarly responsibilities and a museum's contributions to research in the field.


OCTOBER 22: Week 9 — Case Study: Indianapolis Museum of Art's Sacred Spain exhibit

Guest Speaker: Ronda Kasl, Curator of Painting and Sculpture before 1800, IMA


Ronda Kasl, "Delightful Adornments and Pious Recreation: Living With Images in the Seventeenth Century" In Sacred Spain: Art and Belief in the Spanish World

by William A. Christian, Ronda Kasl, Luisa Elena Alcala, Maria Cruz De Carlos

(New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009).


Additional readings may be assigned.


OCTOBER 29:  Week 10 -- Who owns the past?: Cultural property, cultural patrimony and representation

DUE: Assignment #2 (reflective essay on museums and conscience) sent to


Videos:  The Return of the Sacred Pole; Minik: The Lost Eskimo



Martin E. Sullivan, “Some Thoughts About Museums, Reconciliation, and Healing,” in Stewards of the Sacred, ed. Lawrence E. Sullivan and Alison Edwards (Washington DC: American Association of Museums, 2004), 19-25


Marilyn Nelson, Fortune’s Bones: The Manumission Requiem. (Asheville, North Carolina, Front Street, 2004), 1-32.


Jan Bernstein and Isabel Tovar, “A Day in the Life: Collections Manager and NAGPRA Coordinator”   2003


David Hurst Thomas, Ch. 9 “Collecting Your Fossils Alive” and Ch. 10 “Is Real History Embedded in Oral Tradition?” In Skull Wars (New York: Basic Books, 2000), pp. 77-101.


Gwyneira Issac, “What are our expectations telling us? Encounters with the NMAI,” American Indian Quarterly, 2006, 30(4):574-596


Andrew Guillford, “Native Americans and Museums: Curation and Repatriation of Sacred and Tribal Objects.” In Sacred Objects and Sacred Places: Preserving Tribal Traditions. University Press of Colorado, 2000, pp. 40-66.


Karl E. Meyer, “Who (Really) Owns the Past?” World Policy Issue 23(1) Spring 2006

[Online at  of OnCourse Resources]


Ethics of Acquisition. ICOM. (1970).


Web Visits: (sites will be drawn on in class discussion)

·         Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage

·         National NAGPRA:

·         American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation:

·         National Museum of the American Indian:

·         ICOM. Fighting the illicit traffic in cultural property.

·         African Burial Ground National Monument


Recommended Readings:

Neil Brodie & David Gill, “Looting: An International View” in Ethical Issues in Archaeology, edited by Zimmerman, Vitelli, and Hollowell-Zimmer. AltaMira Press. 2003, pp. 31-44. [OnCourse Resources]


Neil Brodie, US art museum accessions” Culture Without Context, Issue 18, 2006. [OnCourse Resources] or URL:


Statement by the President of ICOM on current legal actions against museums for the return of illegally exported cultural property (especially Italy Vs the J Paul Getty Museum) [Online at]


November 5:  Week 11 Second Ethics Bowl

DUE: Research paper thesis and preliminary outline


NOVEMBER 12:  Week 12 Case Study: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis - Deciding what exhibits to invest in and why: Where mission meets market and "Take me There Egypt"

Meet: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis at 6:00

Guest Speaker: Jennifer Pace Robinson, Vice President, Experience Development and Family Learning

DUE: Assignment #3 (Reflective essay on “Why museums matter”) sent to



Falk, John H. and Beverly K. Shepherd, Chap. 1 In Thriving in the Knowledge Age: New Business Models for Museums and Other Cultural Institutions


Robert W. Rydell, “The Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893: ‘And Was Jerusalem Builded Here?’” In Representing the Nation: A Reader (London: Routledge, 1999), 273-303.


Steven Conn, “Between Science and Art: Museums and the Development of Anthropology,” In Museums and American Intellectual Life, 1876-1926 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 73-113.


Web Visits

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: (for general background information plus directions if you need them!)


NOVEMBER 14: Eiteljorg Fellowship Symposium: Art Quantum – graduate students are strongly encouraged to attend this day-long symposium at the Eiteljorg Museum. Admission to the symposium is free. There is a charge for a box lunch, or you can get food on your own at the Sky City café or an eatery in the area.



NOVEMBER 19:  Week 13 CASE STUDY: The Eiteljorg Native American Fellowship

Meet : at the Eiteljorg Museum front entrance at 6:00

Guest Speaker: Jennifer Complo-McNutt, Curator of Contemporary Art

DUE: Research paper draft



Additional readings to be announced


            Fellowship Symposium Overview [on OnCourse]


Juane Quck-to-See Smith, keynote address, Eiteljorg Fellowship, 2007 (see also interactive timeline)


Paul Chaat Smith, Everything You Know About Indians is Wrong (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009), 69-102


Eiteljorg Fellowship web page Forum (note – posting requires creating a user profile and signing in)



Web Visits: (for familiarity with museum’s mission and history and the background on the Fellowship)

Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art:



November 20: [Friday – no class] Graduate Student research poster drafts due

Research project panel drafts due by 5:00 – please send pdf of PPT slide to me via email for comments. Any other arrangements must be made ahead of time with Dr. Kryder-Reid.


NOVEMBER 26: NO CLASS    Happy Thanksgiving!


November 30: [Monday – no class] Graduate Student research poster printing in Cavanaugh (See sign up for specific times - student must be present poster is printed. If you have a conflict, talk to me ahead of time to make special arrangements.)


DECEMBER 3:  Week 14 ― Research Poster presentations

DUE: Poster presentations


DECEMBER 10:  Week 15 ― Concluding discussion

DUE: Final research papers including bibliography and pdf of poster – (please turn as both hard copy and electronically)



Sharon Macdonald and Roger Silverstone, “Rewriting the Museum’s Fictions: Taxonomies, Stories and Readers,” In Representing the Nation: A Reader (London: Routledge, 1999), 421-434.


James Clifford, “Museums as Contact Zones” In Representing the Nation: A Reader (London: Routledge, 1999), 435-457.


Charles Correa, “Museums: An Alternate Typology,” Daedalus: Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, vol. 128, no. 3 (Summer 1999): 327-332.


Angelina Russo, “Agents of Cultural Change” April 20, 2009 Guest blogger posting on Digital Heritage: Centre for Museology, University of Manchester [see copy on OnCourse if blog is no longer available online]


Blogs and Forums: “What’s the buzz and where are museums going?

Brooklyn Museum Blogosphere:


Ning Museum 3.0 Forum:


Take-home assignments

A503 - Introduction to Museum Studies


Book Review

Due Dates:

September 10: title due

            Oct. 15: review due



  1. Select a book (monograph or edited volume) related to museums and published in the past two years, the more recently the better. [note - reprints of older books don't count unless they have been substantially revised or are being reissued after a long period out of date (i.e. a "classic"). Find a book that you think would be of interest to most museum professionals, but it doesn’t have to be about museums per se (ex. It could be about leadership or creativity or economic issues). Don’t pick a particular historic topic or exhibit catalogue since those are of limited interest to the target audience. Good sources for ideas are the AAM on-line bookstore and books reviewed recently in Museum News. You can also browse by subject in any on-line bookstores.
  2. Send the title of the book you wish to review to and post to OnCourse forum. Be sure to check OnCourse before you post to be sure no one else is doing that book. In case of duplications, first come, first served.
  3. Read the book and take notes on it.
  4. Write a review of 500-750 words.  You should briefly summarize the work as well as critique it (comment on its strengths and weaknesses and assess its utility or applications in the museum field) and by Oct 4th submit it electronically to me at
  5. You are encouraged to submit a revised version directly to the Association of Midwest Museums for possible publication in their newsletter. Several reviews by MSTD A503 students in past classes have been published. Your review should include the full citation of the work at the top and be signed with your name and academic affiliation at the bottom (ex. Jane Smith, Museum Studies Master’s student, Indiana University, Indianapolis). Send reviews to Brian Bray c/o



Assignment 1: Museum Authority

Due: September 24

Points: 10

Length: (3 pages/ 750 words)


This reflective essay asks you to respond to the question, "Where do museums derive their authority?" You are welcome to offer your own definition of authority or invoke someone else's, but you must be explicit about what you mean by authority. You should support your argument with some specific examples, from readings or your own experience visiting museums.


Assignment 2: Museums and Conscience

Due: October 29 (submit electronically to and post to OnCourse forum)

Points: 10

Length: (3 pages/ 750 words)

Directions: This reflective essay asks you to respond to the question, "What is a museum of conscience?" You may draw on the authors we have read and the museums you’ve visited, but you should be sure to consult the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience as one of your sources and think about our readings that have dealt with some of the problematic assumptions about community and heritage. Using examples will strengthen your argument.


In addition to submitting your essay for me to read, please post it to OnCourse so your colleagues in the class can read it and we can refer to our different perspectives during the discussion of the panels in the last class.



Assignment 3: Why Museums Matter

Due: November 12 (submit electronically to and post on OnCourse forum)

Points: 15

Length: (3 pages/750 words)

Directions: This reflective essay asks you to respond to two questions: “Why do museums matter?” and “How do I want my work to matter for museums and their communities?” You may draw on the authors we have read and the museums you’ve visited, as well as other sources that have inspired or discouraged you. In addition to submitting your essay for me to read, please post it to OnCourse so your colleagues in the class can read it and we can refer to our different perspectives during the discussion of the panels in the last class.

 A503 Research Project Guidelines



During the semester each of you will work independently on a research project. The theme will relate to readings, issues, and case studies explored together in class, but your individual project will take you deeply into a particular institution’s history and will involve reading in primary and secondary sources that are relevant to your particular topic.



·         To build your  skills in research, writing, and oral presentation

·         To deepen your knowledge in the history of museums

·         To develop your  skills in analyzing and interpreting museum practices, particularly the political and cultural contexts of representing the past


·         Select a museum or related cultural institution (such as an historical society or tribal cultural center) anywhere in the world that is at least 20 years old. Be sure you will have access to enough sources to conduct the research.

·         Investigate primary and secondary sources to gather information about the institution’s mission, history, role in its community over time, and the nature of its collections, exhibitions, and programs.

·         Based on your research, write an academic research paper analyzing the institution’s impact and relevance on its community. Depending on the context of the museum, you can define “community” however you want – the local community, descendant community, the museum profession, the discipline (art, history, etc.), the nation, the industry, etc. Note:  the paper should argue your thesis with supporting evidence, and not be a straight chronological narrative of the museum’s history. It may be helpful to include a timeline or short summary of the institutional history as an appendix.

·         In addition to writing a 12-15 page research paper, you will also present your research as a poster or a 5 – 8 minute illustrated PPT presentation to be presented in class.


Sept. 3     Submit institution name. To ensure there is no duplication, please post your selections to OnCourse during the first week. Before you post, check to see what your classmates have chosen. First come, first served.

Oct. 1       Submit preliminary list of sources and annotated bibliography of at least 5 key sources.

Nov. 5      Submit thesis statement and preliminary outline of paper.

Nov. 19    Submit a draft of 12-15 pp. research paper (electronically via email attachment). I also encourage you to submit a draft of your PPT poster by 11/24 for comments prior to the final printing on 11/30.

Nov. 30    Printing of poster (PPT slide format) – must be present during printing. Sign up for specific time.

Dec. 3      Poster presentations in class (note: UG section and all MSTD students and faculty will be invited).

Dec. 10    Final papers due in hard copy and (posted to OnCourse). Please also submit a pdf of your poster.

General points


·       Research skills are a significant part of graduate education.  This assignment requires the identifying a museum of interest, locating appropriate sources, collecting relevant information, critically analyzing the information or data, and developing an argument in support of your answer to your research question, and communicating that research in a formal academic paper and in a “poster” that incorporates text and images. This research process of finding and synthesizing information and communicating it visually in meaningful ways is a critical skill for museum work.


·       This assignment requires you to work relatively independently. It assumes that, as a graduate student, you have basic research skills (how to locate and properly cite relevant sources, develop logical outlines, write clearly and persuasively).  If there are skills that you feel you would like more guidance on or if you just want to talk through your ideas or challenges of your research project, feel free to meet with me.  The Writing Center (Cavanaugh 4th floor) is also an excellent resource as are the reference librarians at the University Library.