MUSEUMS 401-001

Museums in the Digital Age: Technology, Media and Modernity

130 Tappan
T Th 2:30-4:00pm
3 Credit Seminar

This course develops perspectives for understanding the 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 and for considering in what ways museums still need material artifacts and physical architecture. Key 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 proposal for a museum of students' choosing.

No cost for materials.

Pre-requisites: Museums 301 or permission of instructor.

Course Requirements:

  • Class Participation: 20%
  • Homework Assignments/reports: 20%
  • Extracurricular events: 10%
  • Short Paper: 20%
  • Technology proposal: 30%

Intended Audience: Students wishing to take the capstone for the Museum Studies minor.

Class Format: This course is conceived as a seminar that meets twice a week for 1.5 hours per meeting. It is designed to maximize students' opportunities to participate in the exchange of ideas, the evaluation of arguments and the development of nuanced perspectives on the topics we will study.

Textbooks/Other Materials: Ross Parry. Museums in the digital age. Routledge. 041540262X. Other materials will be included in a course pack or as readings on CTools.