This seminar is an introduction to the anthropological study of museums. It will introduce questions about what is involved in collecting, treasuring and exhibiting material (and sometimes immaterial) culture. How is culture made and known through processes of classification and other forms of ordering? Who and what is included – and excluded? We will look especially at the roles of museums in creating national and other forms of public memory, and in imagining particular futures. The seminar will also address questions of ongoing transformations in museums, including by looking at a range of examples from around the world. The seminar will consist primarily of close reading of a range of classical and more recent texts in order to introduce some of the main areas of theory. In addition, seminar participants will be encouraged to engage in deeper investigation of perspectives and examples of your own choice. The seminar does not require prior knowledge of the subject. It will run on weekly basis of a 1.5 hour session with some possible slight variations. You will be expected to read and prepare summaries of reading for all sessions, as well as sometimes undertaking limited amounts of research (e.g. via museum websites) or other preparation for each meeting. The seminar language will be primarily English.
The seminar will be held in the rooms of CARMAH, MO41, room 408 (4th floor).