93151 - Museum Studies (Lm)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Archaeology and Cultures of the Ancient World (cod. 8855)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will have studied museum history from being an institutional container for a collection, up to the idea of the modern archaeological museum with its complex organization. They will know the rudiments of museum theory, legislation and marketing. By studying museum methods and practices they will have the tools and methodologies to design an exhibition, or translate a "museum idea" (Museum, exhibition or archaeological park) into concrete reality, bearing in mind the cultural, display and communication aspects. Finally, they will have the analytical tools to monitor the flow of visitors. They will be able to apply the theoretical-scientific concept of Museology, in its various meanings and multi-functional sense, to the complex problems related to public enjoyment of the Archaeological Cultural Heritage. They will be able to take part in a critical debate on the subject, based on their own direct experience. Finally, they will profit by knowledge derived from monitoring the flow of visitors to improve their own powers of curatorship.

Course contents

This course aims to provide students with theoretical knowledge on museum studies, as well as the necessary practical skills to work with or in the museum sector. It is designed to prepare students both to the responsibilities they will overtake or/and to the academic work they will produce during their professional career. Therefore, the course is divided into three modules, organized in lecture and seminar sessions with readings and discussions based on case studies from all over the word.

The first module provides a theory-based introduction to the museum sector and the research field of critical museology. It will introduce students to the history of museums in a global context, to the different types, functions and characteristics of museums, as well as to the current debates on the definition of a museum.

The second module is dedicated to the new stakes and challenges of the museum in the 21st century. It will familiarize students with the current debates surrounding curatorial activity and museum management, and on their concrete effects on museum practices. The course will focus on collections display, conservation issues, and on exhibitions or events planning and design.

The last part of the course is conceived to provide students with concrete tools to think specifically about the publics of museums, and to implement adapted strategies to relevantly interact with them inside and outside of the museum.

Assessment methods

The examination consists of a personal paper.
The personal paper must be based on your experience of visiting a museum, analyzing it from a critical perspective, based on your knowledge of museology and museography acquired during the class. Presenting the museum and the exhibition, emphasizing the challenges faced by the curator(s), and their place within the current global debates

Teaching tools

The course consists of lectures, seminars and will make use of video projections. At the end of the course, presentations, and handouts will be made available on the teaching webpage.

Interpreting service Italian-English during the lessons offered by our university.

Office hours

See the website of Nicola Santopuoli