The Museum Studies Experiment: What is it? Why do it? Who owns it?

I'm going to this, who wants to come with me?

The Association of College & University Museums & Galleries presents:

The Museum Studies Experiment: What is it? Why do it? Who owns it?

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009
Penn Museum
University of Pennsylvania

In keeping with the theme - The Museum Experiment - of this year's AAM Meeting, questions to be posed include:

  • Where does Museum Studies fit into the educational program of a university or college? Does it belong with professional training schools like law, medicine, journalism and business or is it properly placed within the context of academic disciplines such as art history, natural history, literature, or anthropology?
  • Is there in fact a field of inquiry called Museology, with distinct methodologies, a notable historiography, and an intellectual rigor that reaches beyond the day-to-day activities and functions that take place within collecting institutions?
  • Or is Museum Studies ultimately limited to serve as supplementary pre-professional training in the management of not-for-profit collecting institutions for students studying academic disciplines like those mentioned above? And to the contrary, can Museum Studies possibly stand alone as a field of inquiry without such a pairing?
  • Fathoming the field's proper depth can very much determine its place in academe and its programmatic relationships with other fields of inquiry and academic museums, not to mention its luster for institutional moral and financial support.