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February 04, 2010 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2010-02-04

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The Michigan Daily I michigandailycom I Thursday, February 4, 2010

Feb. 4to Feb. 7
"Chasing Shadows"
is South African pho-
tojournalist Santu
Mofokeng's latest
exhibit. This photo-
graphic series of eerie
landscapes seeks to
explore the themes of
ownership, loss and
spirituality and, accord-
ing to the Institute for
the Humanities's web-
site, meditate on "the
profound absurdity of
living." "Chasing Shad-
ows" opens tomorrow
and is housed at 202
South Thayer Street,
Room 1010. The exhibit
is open from 9 a.m. to 5
p.m. Admission is free.

You've heard the rave
reviews. Now it has
been nominated for
nine Oscars, includ-
ing Best Picture. Do
yourself a favor and
experience "The Hurt
Locker," available on
DVD and Blu-ray. This
story of soldiers defus-
ing bombs in Iraq is
a masterpiece - an
expertly directed
character study with
more thrills than "Ava-
tar" (and made with
1/33 of its budget).

4 .,
_, , , .

By Leah Burgin
Daily Fine Arts Editor
"Change, resilience, adap
ity and creativity." These ar
ideas expressed in the geometri
elegant ideogram called nkyin
originating from the Akhan p
of sub-Saharan Africa, accordi
the University of Michigan Mu,
Studies Program website. The
bol depicts a meandering line
winds horizontally toward the icon's top edge,
suddenly splits into five short lines that beg to ex
like tributaries past the character's boundaries.
- Generally translated to mean "twistings," the
inkyin marking has traveled from Ghana and
d'Ivoire to Ann Arbor via Professor of Art Histori
Afroamerican and African Studies Ray Silver
who has worked with the Akhan people for 30 ye
Silverman, who is also the director of the Un
sity of Michigan Museum Studies Program, chose
inkyin for the UMMSP's logo because he believe
Akhan ideogram embodies the philosophy of the
gram, which includes the Rackham School of Gi
ate Studies certificate program in Museum St
and the brand new undergraduate minor.
"We don't want to create a discipline of Mu
Studies," Silverman said. "We want to create an
space where a lot of different disciplines can me
discuss a whole range of issues related to muse
but also issues that have relevance to other cul
The Museum Studies Minor, launched last se
ter, is a direct result of the graduate certificate
gram's success. Since its creation in 2003, the gra
certificate program has garnered great interest as
"It was largely the result of a lot of undergrad
coming to me and saying, 'Hey it's really nice tha
have a graduate program in Museum Studies, but
about us?"' Silverman said.
"(Silverman) and I would each be approache
undergraduate students over the course of a term
would want to know where the (museum) co
were for undergraduates, and we could point th
courses in different departments, but there wasn
one structured curriculum in place for underg
added Associate Director of UMMSP Brad Taylor
Like the graduate certificate program, the
minor consists of 18 credits, and it's structured ar
the same general curriculum, including a focu
museums as institutions, the objects and collec

tabil- within museums and how museums interact with man, the field includes not only history and art muse-
e the society. Both programs are intended to promote muse- ums, but other institutions, like theme parks, zoos,
ically um literacy and complement other fields of study, not arboreta and casinos, that compete for the public's lei-
kyin, to act as a vocational track for those interested in a sure time and seek to "design an experience."
eople museum career. "We were ambitious," added Florusbosch. "We had
ng to "It's not that we're preparing students for a career weekly readings (and) a weekly film that we thought
seum in museums, it's that we're preparing students to think would be a nice change of pace. Then we had outside
sym- critically about museums, about their role in society, events that people needed to attend on their own. And
that about how they work, how they function," Silverman then of course we had lecture and discussion, which is
then said. normal. And then they had a digital curation program.
pand "We don't offer classes on how to become a cura- And that's six different kinds of learning experiences.
tor or how to organize collections," Taylor added. "For There was a lot of differentkinds of things that people
nky- those students who want that training, it's available had to do."
Cote out there, but we've made an intentional decision to In addition to these class components listed above,
y and offer something different. And while it's really too students were given the opportunity to listen to guest
man, early to tell in the undergraduate program, the gradu- speakers from different areas within the museum
ars. ate program has really set itself apart from other pro- field.
liver- grams in the field by taking that approach." "One of my favorites was the director of the Detroit
nky- Out of the 70 students who took the minor's intro- Institute of Arts, who spoke about the issues he faced
s the ductory course last semester, 30 have already declared in trying to make the DIA more open to people who
pro- the minor. Of these students, Silverman said he thinks didn't have a background in art," said LSA senior Katie
radu- "most are interested in pursuing museum careers." Munn.
udies However, according to Rackham student Jolande Munn and her classmates in Museums 301 didn't
Henrike Florusbosch and graduate student instructor just listen to curators and museum directors. They
seum for Museums 301, there was a lot of diversity among were also expected to create their own "digital cura-
open the minor's first crop of students. tion" projects. Assigned on the first day of class, the
eet to "There were students who had always known that individual, web-based exhibits were to be composed
ums, they wanted to work in museums (and) people that of photographed objects framed within a personal
tural really didn't know that there was really a course on story. At the end of the term, the class had a "gallery
museums," she said. "There was a whole range of peo- opening" where students could browse their peers'
ple, and that's what we were hoping (for)." exhibits, which covered topics ranging from South
Students who took the introductory course includ- Dakota to Boy Scouts to Michigan game day culture.
ed those from the expected areas of interest within the Through the digital curation project, students
mes- College of LSA (namely history, art history, anthropol- learned to appreciate the challenge of website build-
pro- ogy and classical studies), but also from the School of ing and archive creation. According to LSA junior
duate Art & Design, the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Nick Malzahn, "putting (the exhibit) online was half
mong the Ross School of Business and the College of Engi- the battle."
neering. According to Florusbosch, this mishmash of Students also spoke highly of the minor's manda-
uates students created a welcoming interdisciplinary com- tory internship requirement.
t you munity. Teplyn Fournier, an LSA senior, has two intern-
what Because there were 20 differentconcentrations rep- ships this semester, including one at the University's
resented, the course faced a unique difficulty. Taylor Map Library. As part of her internship, Fournier works
ed by remarked that "it makes it a bit of a challenge to figure with several other students to curate a show about the
who out how to respond to such broad disciplinary bases." cohesiveness of the Mediterranean region.
urses But he happily concluded that, to his surprise, "one "I'm not just learning about something I love, but
em to of the students who did the best at the end of the term I'm having my mind blown by some of the things we
't any was an engineering student." learn about what's going on in museums and behind
rad," the scenes,"she said.
r. A HOLISTIC APPROACH Munn similarly experienced the correlation
new between theory and application in her internship at
ound Luckily, the minor is able to handle diverse inter- the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
is on ests, as the curriculum was intended to mirror the "We talked about museum's role in society, and
ions broadness of the museum field. According to Silver- See MUSEUM STUDIES, Page 3B

"Secret Museums," a
documentary by Peter
Woditsch, delves into
erotic art censorship,
examining both the
public and private
buildings where the
medium is stored.
It features sit-down
interviews with collec-
tors and aficionados,
who discuss the rea-
sons behind collecting.
The free film screening
will take place tonight
at 7 p.m. at the Helmut
Stern Auditorium.

Politics got you down?
Don't give up yet, for
the Hip Hop Con-
gress's 6th Annual
Midwest Hip Hop
Summit brings its beat
to the League Ball-
room. See concerts
by artists including
M1 of Dead Prez and
Black Milk on Friday
and a conference
on Saturday cover-
ing gender identity,
sexual orientation and
social justice in the
genre. Doors open
at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Tickets are $10 and
available at MUTO.


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