Museums: Humanities in the Public Sphere

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June 30-July 28, 2019

4-week NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers

Washington, DC

An in-depth exploration of museums and curated cultural collections around Washington, D.C. This four-week NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers will bring the rich and diverse histories of America’s public museums into wider use for teaching and research in the humanities. The Institute approaches museums as sites for interdisciplinary inquiry into advances in humanistic and scientific research, the effects of ongoing international conflicts, the speed of evolving technologies, and ethical debates over privacy and sustainability and cultural heritage. These explorations are guided by weekly lectures and seminars led by six outstanding Visiting Faculty and a renowned Visiting Artist, working together with local museum specialists. Complemented by carefully chosen readings, excellent library resources, and targeted museum visits as case studies, the Institute is guided by the principle that museums offer windows on the educational, ethical, and cultural debates that define the humanities today. Home to dozens of public and private museums, Washington, DC will serve as a laboratory for a collective exploration of these debates. The Institute will be co-directed by Professor Karen Bassi, University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) and Dr. Gretchen Henderson, Georgetown University and UCSC.