Office of the Registrar
Campus Address
Hanover, NH
Phone: (603) 646-xxxx
Fax: (603) 646-xxxx
Email: reg@Dartmouth.EDU

New Undergraduate Course Supplement 2022

ARTH 63.02 Why Are Museums…?

This course offers both beginning, intermediate, and advanced students the opportunity to explore their questions about museums of all kinds. If you love, fear, hate, or feel indifferent about museums, this course will allow you to reflect upon and determine why you feel that way. We will situate the modern museum within the historical circumstances of its emergence. We will critically interrogate its practices and norms. And we will exercise agency as critical visitors and practitioners by re-mixing collections, rewriting labels, and generating lessons for the next iteration of the course. Throughout the term we will use the Hood Museum of Art’s collections and exhibitions to make concrete our discussions and to speak with staff about how they put into practice contemporary demands to democratize and decolonize the museum. While the Hood Museum of Art will provide a home-base for our study, the course covers museums of all kinds from Natural History and Universal Survey Museums to Heritage Sites and Memorials. Some of the themes we will explore include: collecting and identity; memory and witnessing; repatriation, restitution, and repair; accessibility and care; “white walling” and protest; Empire and decolonization; and the ethics of display. This course adheres to the principles of student-centered course design. We will therefore ground our study in the validation of personal experience, the emotional growth and ownership that comes from self-reflection, and the knowledge generated through student-centered learning activities. 

Distributive and/or World Culture


The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.