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
2024 Joshua Bell, Curator of Globalization and Chair of Anthropology Department, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian InstitutionUnseen Connections: A Natural History of the Cellphone
2023 Cara Krmpotich, Associate Professor and museum anthropologist, faculty of Information, Director, Museum Studies Program, University of TorontoThe Seduction, Refusal, and Retention of Universality in Collections Care
2022 Lisa Yun Lee, Director, National Public Housing MuseumWhat’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 UniversityTerribly Close: Polish Vernacular Artists Face the Holocaust
2020 Margaret M. Bruchac, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of PennsylvaniaListening to Object Witnesses:  Decolonizing Research in Museum Collections
2019 Samuel J. Redman, Associate Professor of History, University of Massachusetts, AmherstA 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 UniversityWhat Do Curators Know?
2017 Graham Beal, Director Emeritus, Detroit Institute of ArtsArt for Sale?  Public Trust, Public Debt: The Detroit Institute of Arts and the City of Detroit Bankruptcy
2016 Randi Korn, Founding Director, Randi Korn & AssociatesThe 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 AuthorMuseum 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, OttawaMuseum 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 MuseumsRenewing Scotland’s Most Popular Museum
2011 Andrew McClellan, Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts & Sciences and Professor of Art History, Tufts UniversityPrivate  Collecting in the Age of Museums
2010 Ivan Karp, National Endowment for the Humanities professor in the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts, Emory UniversityMuseums and Their Communities or Communities and Their Museums
2009 Sharon Macdonald, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of ManchesterUnsettling Histories in Museums
2008 Harold Skramstad, President Emeritus, Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield VillageAn Agenda for American Museums in the 21st Century
2007 Elaine Heumann Gurian, Museum Consultant, Advisor, and Author