Course Details

POSC 217: Monuments, Museums & Meaning: How Politics Shapes Memory in Artifacts

Why was naming the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian “political?” Why is the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum not on the Washington DC Mall? What is memorialized by the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum? Why care about the eight Confederate leaders in the U.S. Capitol (or other public places)? This class examines museums and monuments as important types of political communication that preserve cultural artifacts, create historical records, and tell present and future generations the meaning of communities and individuals. We learn about various practices including funding, naming, acquiring, appropriating, placing, designing, and constructing the artifacts that house community memories.
3 credits; SI, IDS; Not offered 2021-2022