Course Memo

Most museums, explicitly or implicitly, deal with religion and spirituality. Museums exhibit objects considered holy, they serve as repositories for things that are held sacred, and they conserve and care for revered items. Using concepts from material culture theory, visual culture theory, museology, and allied fields, students will consider the role of religious objects and art in museums, galleries, and other secular spaces. This seminar, designed for PhD and advanced MA students, is based on reading and discussion, as well as site visits to Bay Area museums. Assignments will include presentations, short papers, reading summaries, and a final paper. The course will include several visits to local museums.