American and New England Studies

Courses & Registration

Registration Information: Click here

Schedule Fall 2015
Registration for Martriculated Students Begins April 13, 2015

Tuesdays 4:10 to 6:40 PM
ANE 670 Museums and Public Culture
Donna Cassidy

This course examines the way that museums, private and public collections, and displays of history and culture beyond the museum walls construct the past and cultural identity in the United States. We will study this history of museums and artifact collections- cabinets of curiosities, world's fairs, and early U.S. museums like the Peale Museum in Philadelphia- as well as theories and practices of contemporary exhibition display. The course will cover a range of museum types- the art museum, history museum, anthropology museum-, focus on case studies- the National Museum of the American Indian and Lowell National Historic Park, for example-, and consider contemporary issues like repatriation and commercializing the museum.

Course materials will include the work of late twentieth-century artists who critiqued museums (Fred Wilson's Mining the Museum and Guillermo Gómez Peña's The Couple in the Cage), recent documentaries like The Art of the Steal, and books from Cathy Stanton's The Lowell Experiment to Janet Marstine's New Museum Theory and Practice. We will also explore how technology- on-line exhibitions, virtual realities, and exhibitions like those in the The Experience Music Project in Seattle- is transforming museums and public culture.

The course itself will more outside the classroom to see what is happening in practice in local institutions: students will have a chance to talk with curators and view the inside working of local museums and collections like the Maine Historical Society, Portland Museum of Art, and USM's Osher Map Library and Special Collections.

ANE 685 Reading and Research
Open to advanced students with exceptional records in the program, this course offers opportunities for reading and research under the direction of a faculty member. The approval of the ANES Curriculum Committee is required.

ANE 687 Internship
Open to qualified students with exceptional records in the program; required for students in the Public Culture and History track. Internships are by application to the ANES Curriculum Committee.

ANE 690 Project
Completion of a two-semester project that may be an independent project or that may combine independent study and work in a historical society, a museum, a cultural organization, or other public or private institution. In consultation with an advisor, the student defines and develops the project in relation to his or her particular interest in American and New England Studies.

ANE 695 Thesis
The product of original research, the thesis should embody an interdisciplinary combination of approaches and/or materials.