MUSEUMS 498 - Special Topics in Museum Studies
Section: 001 Museums in the Digital Age
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Museums (MUSEUMS)
Department: LSA History of Art
Advisory Prerequisites:
MUSEUMS 301 or MSP 601.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Rackham Information:
Rackham credit requires additional work.
Primary Instructor:

This course develops perspectives for understanding and thinking about the potential impact of media and technology on museums. Historical intersections of museums, media and technology will provide points of reference for elucidating the particular uses and challenges offered by new media, digitalization, the Internet and mobile computing. A key concern will be to consider in what ways museums still need material artifacts and physical architecture as they have in the past. Issues will include technology’s effects on museum missions; social media and the control and vetting of information; materiality, space and remediation; the changing shape of memory and history in today’s media landscape; and the challenges of implementing technology (exhibition design, web, apps, collections management) wisely.

Assignments will include readings on museum history, theoretical issues and case studies; visits to local museums; reviews of virtual and digital collections; and a technology project analysis for a museum of students’ choosing.

Course Requirements:

  • Regular attendance and active participation. The course is a seminar.
  • Use of laptops and other electronic devices in class permitted only when requested by instructor.
  • Careful preparation for discussion (homework).
  • A short scholarly paper.
  • An analysis of technology needs of a museum chosen by students.

Intended Audience:

Museum studies minors; students working in digital studies; students with appropriate interest and background (by permission of instructor). This course can be taken for graduate credit. Graduate students will be expected to contribute a short report in class on a topic of their choosing as well as write a longer research paper.

Class Format:


MUSEUMS 498 - Special Topics in Museum Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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