Brown Bags

“Who Arted?” and Other Tales of Adult Learning at the Cincinnati Art Museum

Monday, November 24, 2008

Presented by Katie Johnson, MA, History

“Ce n’est pas un musée archéologique!” Repositioning the Archaeology Museum of the American University of Beirut for a Changing Museological Audience

Friday, October 3, 2008

Presented by Helen Dixon, PhD, Near Eastern Studies

Where Oh Where Is the “Town Square”? Observations from the Walker Art Center

Friday, October 24, 2008

Presented by Stern Lindsay, MFA student, Art & Design and Museum Studies

What Did You Learn? Museum Education Efforts in the US and the UK

Friday, November 7, 2008

Presented by Jennifer Beyer, MA, Education

About Jennifer Beyer

Jennifer Beyer is a museum professional with 7 years of experience designing exhibits, creating education programs, and researching museum technologies. She specializes in engaging communities in museum work. Ms. Beyer holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design, a master’s degree in Education, and graduate certification in Museum Studies. She has been involved with the Virtual Museum Project since its inception and has served as Project Researcher for the past academic year.

Never a Dull Moment! Curating at the Historic Henry Ford Estate

Friday, December 5, 2008

Presented by Susan McCabe, Curator for Museum Practice, Henry Ford Estate, University of Michigan, Dearborn

Honoring Aviation History and Its Participants through a Living, Flying Museum

Friday, March 6, 2009

Presented by Gayle Drews, Director of Museum Activities/Curator, Yankee Air Museum

An Art Foundation in Palestine: Forging Possibility in Impossible Circumstances

Friday, March 20, 2009

Presented by Kathy Zarur, PhD, History of Art

Intercultural Collaboration and the Role of the Museum in Australian Society: Working in the Indigenous Cultures Department at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Friday, January 23, 2009

Presented by Christopher Berk, PhD, Anthropology

About Christopher Berk

Christopher Berk is a PhD candidate in Anthropology and has fulfilled the requirements for the Certificate in Museum Studies.

Ancient Art and Modern Dilemmas: Money, History and Exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Friday, February 6, 2009

Presented by Hima Mallampati, PhD, Interdisciplinary Program in Classical Art and Archaeology

About Hima B. Mallampati

Hima B. Mallampati is a Doctoral Candidate in the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Michigan and a recent recipient of the Certificate in Museum Studies. After earning a J.D. from Stanford Law School, Hima worked at a law firm in New York City on several art law and cultural heritage cases. Her dissertation research analyzes how legal, ethical, and economic developments affected the collecting of ancient artifacts at the University of Michigan and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


Issues in Museum Studies

Bringing Heritage Home: Linking Electronic Access to Museum Collections, Digital Repatriation, and the Exploration of Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Monday, November 10, 2008

Presented by Ruth Phillips, Professor, Art History and Canada Research Chair in Modern Culture, Carleton University, Ottawa

For the past four years, the Great Lakes Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures (GRASAC) has been engaging with long-standing problems of access, interpretation, and fragmentation that have limited the contemporary usefulness of museum and other collections. The new GRASAC Knowledge Sharing software seeks to bring Aboriginal perspectives and knowledges into museums and archives, and Western disciplinary knowledges and collections into Aboriginal spaces. This paper describes GRASAC’s multi-vocal and interdisciplinary approach and discusses the transformative potential of e-access to museum and archival collections for amplifying and de-centring the Euro-centric bias of most existing institutional electronic catalogues.

About Ruth Phillips

Ruth Phillips is Professor of Art History and Canada Research Chair in Modern Culture at Carleton University in Ottawa. She is a specialist in the indigenous arts of the Great Lakes Region and also writes on critical museology. She directed the UBC Museum of Anthropology from 1997-2002. Her publications include Trading Identities: The Souvenir in Native North American Art from the Northeast, 1700-1900 and Unpacking Culture: Arts and Commodities in Colonial and Post-Colonial Worlds, co-edited with Christopher Steiner. In 2002 Phillips founded the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures (GRASAC) with colleagues working in museums, universities, and indigenous communities. Together they are creating an interdisciplinary digital research repository to support collaborative research.

Museums, Histories and the Dilemmas of Change in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Presented by Leslie Witz, Professor, History Department, University of the Western Cape

Changing Histories in Museums. This project is concerned with movements that are taking place within and around the setting of the museum in post-apartheid South Africa. As new objects, displays and narratives travel into these institutions, older collections and displays are re-configured and re-situated in altered settings and claims are made to vernacular values, modalities and histories. This talk analyses and maps these journeys in selected museums and exhibitions in post-apartheid South Africa, investigates the genealogy of new historical productions and examines different visitor and community responses to changing landscapes of history in these museums. Centrally, it uses the site of the museum to interrogate relationships between histories produced in the public domain and in the academy in post-apartheid South Africa. Dr. Witz will focus on two museums, one of which was opened officially on 1 May 2000, the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museums and one of the newest of South Africa’s ‘old’ museums, the Bartolomeu Dias Museum complex in the Western Cape town of Mossel Bay, which opened in 1989, a year prior to the moment, which we now know, heralded the imminent formal demise of apartheid.

About Leslie Witz

Leslie Witz is a member of the History Department at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa, and is also acting co-director of the Centre for Humanities Research at UWC. His research centres around how different histories are created and represented in the public domain through memorials, museums and festivals and tourism. He is the project leader of Project on Public Pasts, and chair of the board of the Centre for Popular Memory and the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum. His book, Apartheid’s Festival: Contesting South Africa’s National Pasts, was published in 2003. He has also written two books for popular audiences: Write Your Own History (1988) and How to Write Essays (1990). Dr. Witz received his PhD in History from the University of Cape Town.

You Want to Do What?!? Experience Design for Non-Profit Institutions, For-Profit Corporations and Everyone in Between

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Presented by Scott Mallwitz, Associate & Director, Experience Design, Cuningham Group

Entertainment, education, recreation and cultural organizations all compete in a complex experience market ““ producing a wide variety of consumer choices with often mixed results. The process of developing consumer experiences, even when carefully considered by the owner, can often overlook one key element ““ the guest. Understanding the motivation, preference and basic needs of both the organization and the guest are keys to the creation of compelling, meaningful experiences. Balancing these criteria with budget and opportunity is the work of the experience designer ““ an approach focusing on the appropriate, consistent presentation of intent, message and context.

About Scott Mallwitz

Scott Mallwitz has over 20 years of involvement in experience design. His extensive background within the entertainment industry includes transforming strategic planning into engaging visitor experiences for an impressive array of clients such as LEGO Global Family Attractions, Walt Disney Imagineering, Warner Brothers, Frito-Lay and Coca-Cola. Recently, Mr. Mallwiz served as Director, Experience Design at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. He was responsible for overseeing the master planning efforts of the entire 214-acre complex, including the 11-acre Henry Ford Museum, the Greenfield Village restoration project and reopening of the Ford Rouge Factory Tour. Previously, he served as a key member of the Six Flags Theme Parks “transformation” team, converting a family of regional theme parks into a nationally recognized entertaiment brand. Mr. Mallwitz received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan.

Monuments of Patriotism: The Commemoration of Warrior Kings in Limpopo Province, South Africa

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Presented by Mahunele Thotse, Lecturer, University of Pretoria, South Africa; UM African Presidential Scholar

This presentation considers the use of monuments that have been erected since 2004 in honor of kings who have fought the war against colonialism and dispossession in what is today the Limpopo Province in South Africa. The emergence of the nine South African provinces in 1994 left the Limpopo province populated by several cultural communities and ethnic groups that once lived in separate areas of the now unified space, a situation which is not without problems. Being aware of the situation, the provincial leaders of the African National Congress government recognized the power of monuments to move and empower people. In the presentation, Thotse argues that the use of monuments in the Limpopo province is a long term strategy that attempts to integrate a people separated by history and ethnicity by constructing a memory identity that is self-consciously aware of the past and to rally the people behind the African National Congress.

The Necessity of Making the Invisible Visible: The Challenges of Using Museums in Formal Education

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Presented by Robert Bain, Associate Professor, History and Social Science Education, School of Education

Recently museums and universities have had unprecedented professional development opportunities to interact with teachers at all grade levels and across all content areas. Most of the interaction follows a “sensible” precedent of having experts provide content to teachers through lectures or exhibits or working with teachers in using content to make lesson plans. While getting content and planning lessons are necessary for teaching, such professional development interactions are hardly sufficient if the goal is improving students’ understanding and achievement. In this talk, Professor Bain argues for and presents examples of a more dynamic model of interaction with teachers. Drawing on experiences as classroom teacher, historian, and scholar of history teaching and learning, Bain takes inspiration from the television program *Inside the Actors Studio* to argue for making the invisible visible.

About Robert Bain

Robert (Bob) Bain is Associate Professor of History and Social Science Education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He earned his PhD in American Social History and Policy from Case Western University. Before joining the UM faculty in 1998, Bob taught high school history and social studies for 26 years, and was a seven-time award winner for excellence in teaching. His research centers on teaching and learning history and the social sciences. His studies have included investigations of the history teaching and learning occurring in schools and museums, the growth of teacher knowledge, the design and use of history-specific technology, and a history of teacher preparation in history and the social studies. Recent publications include: “Rounding Up Unusual Suspects: Facing Authority Hidden in the Classroom” in Teachers College Record (2006) and “‘They Thought the World Was Flat?’ Principles in Teaching High School History” in How Students Learn: History, Math and Science in the Classroom. (Washington: National Academy Press, 2005). In May, 2008, Kappan published his essay, “A Bad Argument for a Reasonable Position.” The Michigan Council of Social Studies named him its “Educator of the Year” for 2008. The Smithsonian Museum invited Dr. Bain to give the G. Brown Goode Education Lecture in May, 2008. He serves on the Museum Studies Steering Committee.

Difficult Heritage

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Presented by Sharon Macdonald, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester, England

How does a city and a nation deal with a legacy of perpetrating atrocity? How are contemporary identities negotiated and shaped in the face of concrete reminders of such a past? What are the difficulties for those involved in public history of representing difficult heritage?

In this lecture, Sharon Macdonald explores these questions with particular reference to Germany and especially to Nuremberg ““ a city whose name is indelibly linked with Nazism. She examines how Nuremberg has negotiated its Nazi past, and especially its Nazi architectural heritage, post-1945. This includes examining the fate of the site of the Nuremberg rallies, a vast staging ground with colossal Fascist architectural remains. Some of these grounds have since been grassed over and turned into football pitches or parkland, some of the buildings have been destroyed or damaged, and others have been re-used, including for an exhibition entitled Fascination and Terror. Today, the site is used variously for such mixed activities as tours and visits about the Nazi past, for sport, for rock concerts and for walking dogs. The lecture will draw on Sharon Macdonald’s extensive historical and ethnographic research (set out in more detail in Sharon Macdonald 2009 Difficult Heritage: Negotiating the Nazi Past in Nuremberg and Beyond, London: Routledge), which includes interviews with visitors and history workers, to tell some of the fascinating story about how this site of difficult heritage evolved and some of the battles and dilemmas along the way. This will include the public history challenge of representing a site that was meant to enchant visitors into the Nazi project without risking repeating those enchanting effects, the dilemma over whether to restore or to let the site fall into possibly glamorous ruin, and the question of whether a “˜poisonous’ past is best addressed through ignoring, countering with nature or addressing explicitly. By looking at the experience and various arguments in the Nuremberg case, Sharon Macdonald will also raise wider questions about what is involved in negotiating unsettling pasts and how this might best be done.

The 2009 Whitesell Lecture is sponsored by the The Bentley Historical Library and the Museum Studies Program at the University of Michigan.

About Sharon Macdonald

Reimagining Culture: Histories, Identities and the Gaelic Renaissance (Berg, 1997). Prof. Macdonald has undertaken extensive and varied research on museums and heritage, including on the exhibition of science and technology (The Politics of Display: Museums, Science, Culture, ed. Routledge, 1998; Behind the Scenes at the Science Museum, Berg, 2002), on wider questions of theory and especially experimental exhibitionary practice (e.g. A Companion to Museum Studies, ed. Blackwell, 2006; Exhibition Experiments, co-ed. Blackwell, 2007) and most recently in Germany (Difficult Heritage: Negotiating the Past in Nuremberg and Beyond, Routledge, forthcoming). Prof. Macdonald’s research and teaching focuses on the politics, construction, and appropriation of identity and heritage.

Civilizing the Guam Museum

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Presented by Christine DeLisle, PhD Candidate, History and Women Studies, and Museum Studies

Part of a larger project that examines the gendered dimensions of U.S. colonialism in Guam in the early 1900s and, more specifically, the roles of U.S. Navy wives in the “benevolent assimilation” of the Chamorros, this presentation will explore the history of the Guam Museum as a civilizing and modernizing project. The lecture will trace the Museum’s history from its inception in the 1930s through the efforts of the American Legion, the naval administration, and Navy wife Margaret Higgins to its post-WWII revival as a nationalist project under the Government of Guam and the leadership of Chamorros.

This research was funded by the MSP Fellowship for Doctoral Research in Museums.