MCR810 ESS Museums: Challenges in the 21st Century
Professor: Kali TZORTZI
The course focuses on contemporary reality and examines the evolution of the institution of the museum in times of social change and differentiation. Building on the knowledge, theoretical and practical, acquired in the previous courses, it aims to contribute to the understanding of the complex and amplified educational and social role that the museum of the 21st century is required to take, and examines how this affects its internal functioning and exterior relations. The course explores changes in ‘classical’ museum issues –such as the communication and social policy of the museum and the shaping of its public image, the significance of audience research and visitor studies, the facilitation of access and the opening up of the museum to new social groups. It gives particular emphasis to issues in the organization and design of educational activities in museums, in relation to different groups of visitors, including educational programmes addressed to school groups. It examines how museums are responding to contemporary needs –such as the need for an extrovert policy and promotion at an international level and, in parallel, for a strong connection to the local society– and to new perspectives –such as museums as landmarks, their contribution to urban regeneration and cultural tourism, and their participation in national, European and international networks and programmes. It analyzes key challenges which have emerged in recent years, including the restructuring of museum collections, the relations between museums and identities, and issues of museum ethics. A key part of the course is the writing of a paper, through which students apply the knowledge acquired during the lectures, and develop the ability to formulate, document, and present arguments in relation to the issues under discussion.