HIST-LIT 90DB: Museums in America





Instructor: Reed Gochberg
Meeting time: Monday, 12:00 - 2:45

Museums in AmericaIn this seminar, we will consider the literary and cultural history of American museums from the eighteenth century to the present. How have museums prompted broader discussions about taste, expertise, and authority? How can we understand the legacies of historical collecting practices for contemporary institutions? And how have recent debates about decolonization, repatriation, and accessibility informed new ideas about what role museums can play in American culture? Throughout the semester, we will examine a range of sources, from fiction, museum catalogues, and periodicals to paintings, artifacts, and installations; we will also research objects in Harvard’s museum collections and develop a collaborative digital exhibit.