13373 | Between Collection and Community The Museum as Idea and Institution

Lecturer: Sophie Thorak

Thursday 12:00

Begin 14 October 2021, online

The museum holds a firm place as one of the main cultural institutions in societies worldwide. It is traditionally perceived as serving educational purposes, but also – especially in relation to art museums – mediating aesthetic experiences. These two aspects are closely linked to the unique collection of natural or cultural objects housed by every museum. The preservation, interpretation and promotion of their collections while engaging with the public are considered the main tasks of every museum. While these tasks themselves are well accepted, how they are conducted – meaning the ways in which museums are operated and interact with their communities – are subject to constant debate and scientific study.

In this module we will explore different perspectives on the purpose and societal role of the museum in a world of globalisation, migration, digitalisation, shifting values and ever-evolving societies. We will discuss our personal museum experiences, gain an insight into different practical aspects of museum work, study a range of different museums with a focus on cultural heritage and engage with different discourses revolving around the museum to develop a critical perspective on the challenges and potentials of this permanent institution of constant change.

The module will mainly be conducted in an asynchronous mode. For further information please visit the Moodle course.