Public programs facilitate dialogue between academics and professionals, informing scholarship and strengthening practice.

Multiple day conferences, year-long colloquia, individual lectures, “conversations” between individuals, hands-on workshops, and Museums at Noon talks featuring our graduate students all contribute to the remarkable richness of MSP offerings.

Video recordings of some MSP lectures are archived for viewing in our Media Gallery.

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What Happens When a Museum Is Something Other than a Museum?

November 3, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Presentation by Zachary Kopin, PhD, History

Friday, November 3 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, UM Museum of Art auditorium


What Happens When a Museum Is Something Other than a Museum?

Constitution Hill was once a notorious prison in colonial and apartheid South Africa. Churchill, Ghandi, Nelson and Winnie Mandela, and Fatima Meer were imprisoned there. It was not uncommon for 75 prisoners to find themselves confined to a cell the size of a classroom. At the turn of the millennium, in an effort to reclaim the space, the newly democratic South Africa decided to place its Constitutional Court on the site, while the city, provincial, and national governments created an entity to manage the site and tell its history. Many know Constitution Hill as a museum. Its formal name, however, is the Constitution Hill Development Company.

What happens to a museum when its primary function is not to put its collections on display? This talk will discuss how the mandate to develop a precinct changes how a museum operates — the opportunities and risks that mandate creates. And how, in a country struggling to recover from the damage of its past, one balances reclamation against the demands of heritage preservation.


Museums at Noon_Kopin


November 3, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category: