Courses: Museum Anthropology (ANTHH208B01)

Spring 2013

This course is a comparative and historical introduction to museums and objects, how we might study and think about them as anthropologists. Special emphasis will be placed on cultural history museums and the complex interplay of memory, memorialization, cultural heritage, history, and museum exhibits. How do museum publics and museum professionals explore the past through objects, and how do changing ethical standards of collecting, management, and display of artifacts inform those explorations? My background as museum curator and director inspires my efforts to understand museums as cultural institutions; and, because of this background, professional museum practices will form an important part of course discussions. The ways in which museums deal with issues of repatriation of cultural property will be addressed in some detail. Controversial exhibits and repatriations (or their lack) will be debated in class with a view to better comprehend how and why specific decisions are made within complex cultural institutions. Students will conduct research on the collection, management, and exhibition of individual museum objects.

Fulfills: SO Limit:15


Anthropology (Web site)

Taught By

Rubie S. Watson (Profile)


Haverford, Stokes 207

Meeting Times

T 1:30-4:00