ANT 391 • Historical Museums: Context & Practice
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
The purpose of this course is to look at the process of museum exhibit creation in historical museums, from planning through development to opening and maintenance, as a negotiation among many stakeholders for influence upon the story that is told. We will discuss the meaning of objects and how those objects are made into historical narratives in a museum context. We will consider the institutional positioning of the museum, including its history and resources; the interests and concerns of museum employees (registrars, researchers, curators, conservators, education specialists, support staff); the influence of the public, both the ?audience? public and those whose interests are directly affected and/or represented by an exhibit?s story; and the role of contractual professionals when they are used (designers, exhibit construction firms). Students will investigate the genesis and audience of individual museums and exhibits in the Austin area. We will also doubtless discuss the convergence of issues of history, identity, and power in the repeated destruction of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad in 1991 and 2003 and the responses to it by various interested parties around the world.