Courses

Fall 2022 MUSE Course Descriptions
MUSE 400/546: The Imagined Museum 
Dr Lucy Mensah, Mondays, 3:00pm-5:30pm CDT
CRN: 45575 (3 undergraduate hours) or 47139 (4 graduate hours)
This course examines the role of the imagination in museum practice and theory. Grounded in literature, popular media, art & design, and cultural theory, class assignments and discussions will consider the social, political, and cultural needs driving the turn to speculative and fictional museum-making. Case studies will draw from “failed” proposals for real museums, fictionalized museums in literary fiction and television, and the rise of digital museums. 
 
This section of MUSE 546 is open to all graduate students. Undergraduates should register for the MUSE 400 section of this class.
 
 
MUSE 400/546: Memory Activism, Alternative Archives and Social Justice 
Dr. Maria Eugenia López-Garcia, Tuesdays, 3:30pm-6:00pm CDT
CRN: 45574 / (3 undergraduate hours) OR 47138​ (4 graduate hours)
This seminar examines the politics of memory and commemoration, focusing on human rights issues, historical erasure, and justice mobilization. From the decades of activism of Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo in Argentina to the feminist movement “Ni Una Mas” in Mexico to the global demonstrations to remove monuments to slavery and colonialism, we will explore the role of memory as a site of struggle for justice, healing, and liberation. In this process, we will consider questions such as the following: How do social movements shape, construct and use memory? What types of archives have emerged in the waves of activism for social justice? What is the logic and practice of memory activism? What are the strategies of visibility and representation emerging from collective memory? In short, this course will especially emphasize research on the use of memory practices and cultural repertoires by marginalized communities, activists, archivists, museum workers, and artists as means for social and historical justice.
 
This section of MUSE 546 is open to all graduate students. Undergraduates should register for the MUSE 400 section of this class.
 
 
MUSE 400: Environmental & Climate Justice: From Puerto Rico, the U.S./Mexico border, and other localities to Chicago neighborhoods
Dr. Rosa Cabrera, Tuesdays, 3:30pm-6:00pm CDT
CRN: 43540 (3 undergraduate hours) OR 45573 (4 graduate hours)
This course examines the environmental justice movement and its connection to climate change. It scrutinizes larger systems of power and privilege that produce unjust environmental and climateconditions putting communities of color, immigrants, indigenous, and low-income earners at greater risk. This course will use transnational case studies from Chicago’s Latinx community, Puerto Rico, the U.S./Mexico border, and other localities to examine the intersection of environmental pollution and climate change with social issues. This is a highly collaborative course that requires full participation in the reading discussions and student interdependence to work in small groups to complete a community project.
 
 
MUSE 400/546: Surviving the Long Wars: Exploring Parallels Between the US “Indian Wars” and the “Global War on Terror”
Aaron Hughes, Thursdays, 3:30pm-6:00pm CDT
CRN: 43535 / (4 undergraduate hours) OR 45572​ (4 graduate hours)

How can critical theory and curatorial practice inform our analysis of the connections and contradictions between the 18th and 19th century US “American Indian Wars” and the 21st century “Global War on Terror” (GWOT)?

How can we connect the ongoing legacies of Native rebellion against US settler colonialism and genocide with today’s antiwar activists, artists, and cultural practitioners responding to contemporary US warfare, with a focus on GWOT’s impact in the Greater Middle East?

What unique perspectives do BIPOC veteran artists and war resisters bring to the study of these long wars? How do their experiences outside the dominant/nationalist “veteran” identity shed light on the tangled relationship between race, gender, indigeneity, and citizenship? 

What are the ethical and political stakes of bringing BIPOC veterans and war resisters into dialogue with Indigenous descendants of US “Indian wars” and survivors of the GWOT, including Arab, Muslim, and South Asian diasporic communities in Chicago?

The Museum and Exhibition Studies Program, Gender and Women’s Studies Program, and emerging Veteran Art Movement are partnering to offer Surviving the Long Wars. This course is the *first part of a two-semester seminar introducing students to contemporary art and curatorial practices in addition to scholarship in critical ethnic, native/Indigenous, and Middle Eastern studies to reveal contradictions, parallels and relationships that generate opportunities for anti-imperialist solidarities and creative visions for a more just future.

During the course student research teams will be partnered with National Endowment for the Humanities Veteran Fellows to investigate and build public programs that examine the connections and contradictions between the eighteenth and nineteenth-century US “Indian Wars” and the twenty-first-century “Global War on Terror.” This class will create opportunities for students to deepen their understanding of the experience of war by examining the multiple, overlapping histories that inform contemporary US warfare as well as alternative visions of peace, healing, and justice created by diverse communities. Surviving the Long Wars will incorporate academic study, curatorial research, and focused group discussions in conjunction with a public scholarly seminar series in new directions in comparative ethnic, native/Indigenous, and Middle Eastern studies co-curated by Professor Therese Quinn and Associate Professor Ronak K. Kapadia, featuring leading scholar activists including Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Kyle Mays, Harsha Walia, Nick Estes, and Laleh Khalili. The project examines the conflicting and at times interwoven histories and identities of BIPOC veterans with those of native descendants of US “Indian wars” along with more recent survivors of the GWOT, including Arab, Muslim, and South Asian diasporic communities. The project culminates in the second Veteran Art Triennial and Summit in Chicago in March 2023.

Keywords: Abolition, anti-imperialism, contemporary art, critical ethnic/Indigenous/Middle Eastern studies, resistance, solidarities

*Students are invited, but not required, to take Part 2 in Spring 2023.
 

This section of MUSE 546 is open to all graduate students. Undergraduates should register for the MUSE 400 section of this class.
 
Also cross listed as GWS 494 (3 undergraduate credits. 4 graduate credits) CRN: 34984 (undergrad) / 34985 (graduate students)
 
 
MUSE 532. Museum Collections
Emma Turner-Trujillo, Thursdays, 3:30pm-6:00pm CDT, CRN:43541
Practical, theoretical and institutional settings of the museum and exhibition professions. Students meet in seminar environments, read and discuss core texts and ideas; travel to representative exhibition and cultural heritage sites.
 
 
MUSE 543. Writing for Exhibitions​
Dr Lucy Mensah, Tuesdays, 12:30pm-3:00pm CDT, CRN: 43534
Practicum in producing texts for sites across physical and virtual museum and exhibition environments, from labels to exhibition catalogs. Includes digital and virtual exhibition venues.
 
 
MUSE 545. Museum Genres, Practices, and Institutions​
Dr. Maria Eugenia López-Garcia, Mondays, 3:00pm-5:30pm CDT, CRN: 43539
History of museums, cultural heritage sites, other sites of preservation and exhibition; includes discussion of contemporary sites of virtual display.