Freshman Seminar: The Workings of a Museum: What Goes on in a Museum of Culture?

The Workings of a Museum: What Goes on in a Museum of Culture?
Course Number: 
Hearst Museum 103
Adam Nilsen
Mo 10:30AM - 11:29AM

The Workings of a Museum: What Goes on in a Museum of Culture?

At the Hearst Museum of Anthropology, we use real objects to tell real stories about real people, inviting visitors to see the world through the eyes of people beyond themselves.  This seminar gives students a focused look at the inner workings of a museum of people and culture.  We answer questions such as: Who works here, and what do they do?  Who visits our exhibits, and how might they learn a thing or two about themselves and others?  What good can a museum visit do in the 21st century?  Topics range from object care and exhibit design to community-based research and storytelling, and students will contribute to the development of a real exhibit.  This is a great starting point for students interested in anthropology, education, design, and museum studies.

Taught by Dr. Adam Nilsen.  Dr. Nilsen is the Head of Education and Interpretation at the Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley. In this role, he oversees the development of exhibits and public programs, and he conducts research on how people think and learn about the people of the world. He holds a BA and an MA in Anthropology from Stanford and New York University, where he studied storytelling in museums; and a PhD in Education from Stanford, with a specialization in social studies education and empathy.  He has also worked as a researcher at the Oakland Museum of California, curating exhibits on California history.  He believes museums can do a lot of good for a troubled world.