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Museum Studies Network

Initiatives

As part of MSN’s 2019 strategic refocusing, the Leadership Team has worked together to craft these goals. We will be working toward these initiatives in a variety of ways over the next few years.

We welcome anyone who would like to be involved in these efforts moving forward to contact us.

Goal 1:

Share skills and knowledge with Museum Studies faculty within the Alliance as well as with general Alliance members interested in the field of Museum Studies in terms of pedagogical approaches, reading material, and the discussion of core skills and knowledge.

Objective 1:  Connect Museum Studies faculty and programs.

Why:

Museum Studies programs are growing.  New programs are being established regularly.  New faculty are teaching in programs who may not have taught Museum Studies before or who may not have worked in museums before.

Actions:

  • Create and share reading lists on the MSN webpage.
  • Share teaching strategies on MSN the webpage, in MSN-sponsored conference sessions, via webinar or Zoom conversation
  • Share links to information about programs (application, enrollment, requirements, faculty) via MSN webpage and social media.
  • Foster relationships between faculty via MSN-sponsored Zoom meet-ups, social media, networking events, and conference sessions.
  • Convene conversations between faculty across programs around specific issues such as internships, access, and equity, the tension between teaching practical and applied knowledge.

How this will help:

  • Strengthen curricula and Museum Studies education by sharing best practices
  • Increase professional connections between programs
  • Help potential applicants to compare programs

Objective 2: Create teaching/study guides.

Why:

Identify core texts in Museology and Museum Studies and provide tools for teaching them.  Strengthen student preparation by easing the way for new faculty.  Share tested ideas and new creativity.

Actions:

  • Bring together seasoned and new Museum Studies faculty to identify and work with core texts.
  • Create an MSN teaching guide task force which will:
  • Identify core texts taught across Museum Studies programs
  • Solicit best practices for teaching those texts
  • Produce guidelines for teaching those texts which will be available to AAM members through the MSN webpage.

Goal 2:

Provide spaces for conversations, and learning, and actions around the big ideas of contemporary museology–from DEAI to deaccessioning to donors.

Objective 1: Contribute to the conversation around access and equity.

Why: 

In Museum Studies curricula, we make choices about what we teach and why.  These choices reflect our own backgrounds, but they also shape the course of the field.  By initiating a conversation about how to address issues of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion in the classroom, we can start to change the field— because we are preparing the next generation of professionals.

Actions:

  • Explore ways to encourage the participation of young people and traditionally underrepresented groups in museums via conference sessions, meet-ups, and publications on the MSN webpage.
  • Champion diversity by providing more opportunities for students, emerging professionals, and members of the museum community who do not have access to engage in larger museum conversations.
  • Foster curricular-level conversations about access and equity, highlighting key publications, case studies, and current best practice.
  • Support colleagues (faculty, students, alumni, and practitioners) as we all seek to create more inclusive environments, both in Museum Studies classrooms and the museum field as a whole.
  • Sponsor AAM conference sessions, AAM webinars, meet-ups, etc. that address access and equity.

Goal 3:

Foster joint work between the Alliance and universities and other institutions of higher learning.

Why: 

MSN can bring together Museum Studies faculty and museum practitioners for work that will combine the academic strengths of research and study with the expertise and experience of museum practitioners.  By combining these specialists for specific partnerships and projects, MSN can foster results that will benefit the field as a whole.

Actions:

  • Work with AAM, IMLS, and other organizations to explore opportunities for partnerships for field-wide research as well as student engagement.
  • Study ways to break down barriers to entering the museum profession.
  • Internship Task Force: Create a task force with members from Museum Studies program faculty, students, and alumni, as well as AAM members who manage internship programs. This task force would:
  • Gather data on internship requirements in different programs.
  • Understand how different Museum Studies programs manage internships and they require from students in terms of internships.
  • Understand how museum practitioners work with both their academic partners and the interns that the partners provide.
  • Investigate best practices for paid internships, and advocate for interns to be compensated.
  • Create a report to share with PN and AAM membership on interns and interning in the field currently.

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