MA in Jewish Cultural Arts: Fall 2016 Courses

AMST 6190.80/HIST 6001.80/JDS 6001.80 Contemporary Jewish Life
Jenna Weissman Joselit
Wednesdays, 5:10 p.m. - 7 p.m.

This seminar explores the changing nature of Jewish life, domestically as well as transnationally, from the 1950s on through our own day.  Training its sights on an array of cultural phenomena, it looks at the ways in which contemporary Jews, especially those in the United States, reckon with rupture, dissent and, above all, with freedom.

JSTD 6097 Independent Readings/Research

Students have the opportunity to spend a semester working closely with a member of the faculty to pursue their specific research interests.    

MSTD 6201.10 Introduction to Museum Collections
Laura Schiavo
Mondays, 11:10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

This class will serve as an introduction to creating, controlling and protecting collections.  We will look at the fundamentals of collections care (collections plans and policies, accessions, deaccessioning, loans, access and the physical protection of museum objects) as well as legal and ethical issues related to collecting and collections management.  Because guidelines to best practices run up against contingencies ‘on the ground,’ case studies will introduce students to challenges encountered in museum practice.

MSTD 6101.10 Museum Management
Martha Morris-Shannon
Thursdays, 11:10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

An overview of the major activities in governing and managing a museum. Course introduces the student to the non-profit sector and the context of the legal and professional expectations for governance.  The course covers the elements of forming a museum, strategic planning, the role of the CEO/Director, building the organization structure and staffing. Finance, operations and facilities management are also covered. The course also includes sessions on fundraising, grant writing, business planning, performance measurement and accreditation, marketing, public relations and managing change. A strong emphasis on ethical challenges and decision making is included.

MSTD 6104.10 Managing People/Managing Projects
Martha Morris-Shannon
Wednesdays, 4:10 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Dealing with people is an area consistently mentioned as a major challenge for museum managers. Students study organizational behavior theory, the methods of building a motivated and skilled staff, and focus on the team process.  Project management systems are taught including developing scope, schedule and budget, team dynamics, resource leveling and working within a matrix environment. The role of the project manager is emphasized along with tools of managing change and negotiating conflict. Case studies are presented by practitioners in museums today.

MSTD 6301.10 Museum Exhibition: Curatorial Practice & Planning
Kym Rice
Tuesdays, 11:10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

The class focuses on the work of curators in the selection, display and interpretation of objects. Sessions emphasize ethics and collecting exhibit conceptualization and development, working with the community, the production of meaning, and the politics of exhibiting.

MSTD 6601.13 Museums and Social Media
Thursdays, 6:10 p.m. - 8 p.m.

This is a practicum course that will ask students to design, execute, and evaluate a social media project for the George Washington University and/or the Textile Museum at the GWU Museum.  Students will receive an overview about the intentions and content for the Museum(s) and research social media (types, user behavior, etc.) in order to propose a social media project to be carried out and evaluated by the class in the semester.

MSTD 6701.10 Museum History and Theory
Laura Schiavo
Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:50 p.m.

This class traces the history and development of the “authoritative” modern museum. Students will discuss the conventions that have long distinguished art, ethnological and history museums, as well as innovations that challenge those distinctions. The course covers the politics of exhibiting and cultural (re)representation, the life histories of objects, and the roles of curators, designers, visitors, artists and “stake-holder” audiences in the production of meaning. Theoretical arguments will be grounded in the case studies of particular exhibitions and museums, including in parts of the developed world.

And there’s more…
In addition to the courses highlighted here, students - upon consultation with their advisors - may also select relevant courses from among those offered by History, SMPA (Media & Public Affairs), PPPA (the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration), the Program in Tourism & Hospitality Management of the Business School, and Theatre & Dance.  
To round out the curricular end of things, the MA in Jewish Cultural Arts hosts a series of "Meet & Greet" evenings in which students have the opportunity to chat informally with celebrated arts and culture professionals as well as attend a wide variety of cultural events. Internships and other exercises in mentoring, including spending an entire day in the company of any number of different cultural leaders – or what’s called “shadowing” – is another integral feature of the program. From start to finish, the MA in Jewish Cultural Arts is designed to expose students to a range of career possibilities and innovative ways of thinking.