Visiting Scholars

Each spring, the Museum Studies Program hosts a Visiting Scholar – a leading museum practitioner or researcher – who spends a week on our campus interacting with students, faculty, and the local and regional museum community. While at U-M, the MSP Visiting Scholar teaches a session of our graduate proseminar course, meets with student teams to discuss their capstone projects, and schedules one-on-one meetings with interested students and faculty. The Visiting Scholar also presents an evening public lecture and leads a morning workshop of students, faculty, and local museum professionals. Often, one day of the visit is devoted to visiting regional and campus museums and conversations with a broad array of local museum professionals.

The MSP Visiting Scholar Program brings internationally renowned museum practitioners and innovative thinkers to our campus. Their presence serves as a galvanizing force among the local museum communities on topics of shared interest, assures challenging and exciting discussions in our proseminar, offers expert professional support to our student work, and allows for exciting one-on-one interactions with students, faculty, and museum professionals.

We acknowledge our visiting scholars for the energy, intellectual excitement, and rich knowledge and experience they have brought to our program:

Past Museum Studies Program Visiting Scholars and Presentation Titles
Year Visiting Scholar
2022 Lisa Yun Lee, Director, National Public Housing Museum

What’s the Object of this Museum? Everyday Resistance at the National Public Housing Museum

2021 Erica Lehrer, Professor, History and Sociology-Anthropology; Director, Curating and Public Scholarship Lab, Concordia University

Terribly Close: Polish Vernacular Artists Face the Holocaust

2020 Margaret M. Bruchac, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania

Listening to Object Witnesses:  Decolonizing Research in Museum Collections

2019 Samuel J. Redman, Associate Professor of History, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

A Swift Death and Steady Resurrection: Salvage Anthropology and U.S. Museums

2018 Steven Lubar, Professor of American Studies, History of Art, Architecture, and History, Brown University

What Do Curators Know?

2017 Graham Beal, Director Emeritus, Detroit Institute of Arts

Art for Sale?  Public Trust, Public Debt: The Detroit Institute of Arts and the City of Detroit Bankruptcy

2016 Randi Korn, Founding Director, Randi Korn & Associates

The Challenges of Pursuing Intentionality

2015 Lonnie G. Bunch, III, Founding Director, National Museum of African American History and Culture (Smithsonian Institution)

The Challenge of Building a National Museum

2014 Elaine Heumann Gurian, Museum Consultant, Advisor, and Author

Museum Technologies/Museum Transformations (Elaine was one of seven presenters who participated in this all-day conference)

2013 Ruth Phillips, Professor, Art History and Canada Research Chair inn Modern Culture, Carleton University, Ottawa

Museum Utopias, Museum Dystopias: The Dawning of the Age of Hybridity

2012 Mark O’Neill, Director of Policy and Research, Glasgow Life / Former Head of Glasgow Museums

Renewing Scotland’s Most Popular Museum

2011 Andrew McClellan, Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts & Sciences and Professor of Art History, Tufts University

Private  Collecting in the Age of Museums

2010 Ivan Karp, National Endowment for the Humanities professor in the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts, Emory University

Museums and Their Communities or Communities and Their Museums

2009 Sharon Macdonald, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester

Unsettling Histories in Museums

2008 Harold Skramstad, President Emeritus, Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village

An Agenda for American Museums in the 21st Century

2007 Elaine Heumann Gurian, Museum Consultant, Advisor, and Author