Courses in/with the Museum

Here are some of the courses currently taught by museum staff that actively incorporate the museum space, collections, and practice into the course material: 

ANTH 345/545 - Introduction to Museology / Advanced Museology (Every Fall)
Dr. Kristin Otto, Curator

This course provides a broad introduction to the museum world. Through discussion of readings, examination of case-studies, and the completion of practical assignments, students will gain an understanding of the museum as an institution, as well as learn the challenges and responsibilities that museums and their staff encounter. Topics include the history of museums, contemporary debates surrounding the definition of museums, ethical and legal issues, and community connections. Students will explore museum processes such as collecting, cataloguing, conservation, exhibition, research, and education through practical exercises using the collections of the University Museum in Kent Hall, as well as through case studies of museums around the world. This is a core course for those pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies.


Curation Crisis in Archaeology (Topics Course)
Dr. Fumi Arakawa, Director and Associate Professor

This collection management course will introduces student to collections curation, collections care, and collections-based research with archaeological collections. Archaeological collections stewardship begins before an archaeologist steps foot into the field and continues well after the recovered collections reach the repository. This course provides students with an understanding of the curation “crisis” using archaeological collections curated at the University Museum as a case study and the responsibilities that archaeologists have to the collections they generate. Students will learn about the real costs of long-term curation and gain practical skills in project development, sampling strategies, disseminating archaeological collections to the public (e.g., exhibitions, workshops, etc.), and learning collections for the repository to ensure their long-term care, access, and use. This course is especially designed for those who work in the CRM industry, government agencies, academia, and museums. This class will examine various approaches to the topic of curations and will focus mostly on pottery, lithics, faunal/floral remains, historic items, and groundstone tools etc. These materials are ubiquitous in prehistoric and historic archaeological contexts. This class will give you a curational knowledge of these materials as well as sufficient background to develop and evaluate curation issues for archaeological remains.


Museum Anthropology Methods (coming Spring 2021)
Dr. Kristin Otto, Curator

This course provides training in the use of museum collections - primarily collections of ethngraphic material culture - for anthropological research and interpretation. Students will draw from the ethnographic and historical objects held in the University Museum in Kent Hall to conduct independent, collections-based research projects. The course will provide an introduction to the concept of material culture and how museum practices shape knowledge. Students will learn from the examples of anthropologists, folklorists, and historians conducting collections-based research in museum spaces. Throughout the semester, students will apply these theories and methodologies to their own research projects using University Museum's collections, as well as other training exercises oriented towards anthropological research in museums. 


Interested in an internship? You can learn more about internship opportunities in the museum here