Colgate University

First-Year Course Offerings — Fall 2022

ARTS 257   Colonizing and Decolonizing Museums
DistributionHuman Thought and Expression
Core AreaNone

Museums have meant many things to different people over the centuries. The mandate to display and preserve objects of historical interest is a relatively recent meaning. But museums have always had agendas, implicit judgements about the structure of history and the value of culture. Museums came to serve new and quite specific purposes during the 18-19th centuries as European presence expanded around the globe as colonialism and imperialism. Students explore the thinking driving the collecting processes that fed these museums and the display strategies that animated them, both in Europe and in the spaces Europeans colonized. India will serve as the main case study, with comparison cases drawn from Africa and North America.