AMS 391 • Cultural Representations of the Past
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
This is an interdisciplinary graduate seminar for students who wish to learn theoretical and practical skills used extensively by the National Park Service, museums, and exhibit design firms. The class will employ a case study approach, focusing on an actual outdoor museum managed by Texas Parks and Wildlife. Three-hour seminars will be held weekly. Once a month the class will travel to the site in a university van. The class will read theoretical material about the selection and presentation of culture and history to the public. We will examine the role of the museum in society, issues of memory and place, issues of gender, class, and ethnicity in representations of the past, and the identification of landscape as museum. We will specifically discuss the presentation of the past at several major American museums, and the kind of cultural critiques being made of those institutions. At the conclusion of the semester, one or two students will be selected to receive The Fellowship in Interpreting the Texas Past (each carries a stipend of $3,500). Students may elect to take a second graduate seminar in the spring Oral Narrative as History, again referencing the case study site. Two $3,500 fellowships, or one $7,000 fellowship will also be awarded at the conclusion of the spring semester.