Director, Museum Studies Program
Kerstin Barndt is an Associate Professor of German and Museum Studies. Her research and teaching focuses on the literary and visual cultures of the long twentieth century with a current emphasis on museum history and exhibition culture. She has published on German modernism and women’s literature, cultural history and theory, and European and US museum culture. Among her publications, you will find, among others, essays on the history of The Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, and Rouge Factory, on Berlin’ s Neues Museum (New Museum), and on the representation of time and history in post-industrial museum culture. For the University of Michigan’s bicentennial in 2017 she collaborated with Carla Sinopoli on an extensive research project into the history of U-M’s museums, libraries, and collections, which led to the publication of Object Lessons and the Formation of Knowledge. The University of Michigan’s Museums, Libraries and Collection, 1817-2017. Kerstin also worked on a number of exhibition projects in Berlin, Dresden, Grand Rapids, and most recently in Ann Arbor, where “Object Lessons. Recollecting Museum Histories at Michigan” showed at the U-M Museum of Natural History in 2017. Since 2008, Kerstin has served on the Museum Studies Program’s Steering Committee and offered cognate courses for the MSP Certificate. She has very much enjoyed working with the interdisciplinary group of colleagues and students that MSP serves and attracts, and she is looking forward to deepening her engagement in her new role as the Program Director.
Associate Director, Museum Studies Program
Deirdre L.C. Hennebury is an interdisciplinary academic whose teaching and research resides in architecture history and theory, urban planning, and museology. Her research focuses on the use of cultural institutions, such as museums and libraries, to create signature landmarks that act as catalysts for economic growth and social improvement. Articles, chapters, book contributions, and conference papers cover a diverse terrain from exhibition design and pedagogy to museum architecture and its multiplier effects to the adaptive reuse of industrial buildings for cultural installations. After interning at Cranbrook Art Museum as a Museum Studies student in 2005, Deirdre returned to Cranbrook as the first Collections Fellow for the Center for Collections and Research in 2011 – 2012. Over the past decade, while teaching history, theory, and design, Deirdre has curated and developed exhibition programs for Cranbrook, the Detroit Center for Design and Technology, the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, and the European Cultural Centre in Venice, among others. Deirdre is a member of the Museum Studies Certificate’s MSP04 cohort and holds degrees from Princeton University, Harvard University, and the University of Michigan.
Administrative Assistant, Museum Studies Program
Amy Smola joined the Museum Studies Program in 2010 as the Administrative Assistant after having worked for 17 years in healthcare administration at the University of Michigan Health System. Her role in Museum Studies includes tasks related to budget reconciliation, purchasing, financial systems, student administration, events coordination and promotion. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University with a major in Psychology and a double minor in Literature and Art History, and she completed her Master’s in Library and Information Science at Wayne State University. Amy also has an administrative role with the Rackham Graduate School’s Professional and Academic Development team.