MSMS-GA 3330.002 – TOPICS IN MUSEUM STUDIES: ANTHROPOLOGY IN AND OF MUSEUMS
(Class # 1858)
Instructor – Dr. Haidy Geismar
Wednesday, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
240 Greene Street, Room 410
This course takes as its starting point the importance of museums and collecting in the foundational period of the discipline of anthropology and traces the role that ‘cultural objects’ have had in thinking about cultural difference, and within cultural analysis before analyzing what tropes and styles are entailed within cultural representation and the representation of culture. We will also examine the role of museums as sites of fieldwork and as generators of research methodologies focused on material culture. We will investigate the history and nature of the anthropology collections, as well as thinking through the forms of knowledge engendered by artifacts and the kinds of collaborative practices that emerge in contemporary ethnographic museums. Other topics will include global trends in the emergence of new museums of culture, cultures of dealing and collection, the place of anthropological collections in art museums (and vice versa), the diverse relationships between museums and “source” communities, and the multiple contemporary forms of repatriation.