HUM 150 - Museums in the Modern World

Course Description

This course will survey the complex history of museums and why they are important to us today. We will make extensive use of the unique collection and exhibition resources of the Dennos Museum Center to facilitate discussion about the history, power, influence, and diversity of museum systems. Group 2 course.

Credit Hours


Contact Hours


Lecture Hours


Recommended Prerequisites or Skills Competencies

HUM 101, HUM 116, or ENG 111

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Reference the ways in which western museums have changed over time in response to social, economic, and political pressures.
  • Explain the ways in which international/intercultural museums offer voice and power to historically marginalized populations.
  • Identify challenges facing contemporary museums.
  • Describe the different types of museums.
  • Describe the interdisciplinary nature of museums.
  • Analyze how mission informs and impacts key responsibilities of museums, such as the development of collections, exhibits, and interpretive programs.
  • Evaluate the many ways in which museums present and interpret material for the public.
  • Employ the basic tools of research available to museums.
  • Correlate the ways in which museums connect to our larger understanding of western history.
Human Dimension:
  • Assess how museums shape stories about privileged and underprivileged constituencies.
  • Understand the power museums wield as effective storytellers and keepers/conveyers of "truth."
Caring - Civic Learning:
  • Self-assess their personal relationship with material culture and museums.
Learning How to Learn:
  • Construct knowledge about being an active participant rather than a passive observer.
  • Organize and present their research in well-written, appropriately-documented prose and in oral presentations.