Related Courses

Obermann Center Special Topics Graduate Seminar: What Can Museums Become?
GRAD:7280, 1 s.h.

4:00-5:30 pm, Fridays (1/24, 2/21, and 3/14); attend WorldCanvass program, 5:30 pm, 2/6; and fully attend the symposium, 3/5–3/7.

Museums have never been mere containers for objects, nor should they be. The March 5–7, 2020 Obermann Humanities Symposium asks: How might we draw strength from existing institutions to enable vibrant futures? How can we expand the communities who feel a sense of belonging within and around museums? What must we confront and transform to make this possible? This seminar prepares students to participate in the Symposium through a selection of relevant readings, a site visit, and an object-based study session.

Team Teachers: Jennifer Buckley and Joyce Tsai

Art, Artists, Institutions: Objects, Networks, Power
ARTS:3050:0001, 3 s.h.
This seminar asks what we expect from artworks, artists, and the institutions enable artistic production and exhibition from historical and contemporary perspectives.
Faculty: Joyce Tsai, Chief Curator, UI Stanley Museum of Art

Art at the End of the World: History, Theory, & Practice
ARTS:3250:0001, 3 s.h.
What is the role of the apocalyptic artist*? In this class, students will explore the history of the end of times from ancient prophecy through maleficent technological takeovers of the near future.
Faculty: Vero Rose Smith, Associate Curator, UI Stanley Museum of Art

Introduction to Museum Studies
MUSM:3001:0EXW, 3 s.h.
While providing a holistic view of the museum community ecosystem, this course engages students in a semester long conversation about what museums have been, what they are now, and what they will become.
Faculty: Heidi Lung

Historic House Management & Preservation
MUSM:3100:0EXW, 3 s.h.
After learning about the origins of the historic house movement, students in this course will use recent case studies to explore innovative approaches to operations, interpretation, collections management, and community engagement.
Faculty: Heidi Lung

Museum Evaluation and Visitor Studies
MUSM:3131:0001, 3 s.h.
Students explore theory, methodology, and application of evaluation and research processes through case studies and class projects.
Faculty: Heidi Lung

Museum Object Preservation
MUSM:4200:0001, 3 s.h.
Detailed study of specific types of museum objects, their materials, and care; for students planning museum careers or taking care of collections as part of their professional responsibilities.
Faculty: Cindy Opitz, Director of Research Collections, Pentacrest Museums

Literature and Art: Writing and Performance
This course addresses the ways in which creative and critical writers have approached performance.
Faculty: Jennifer Buckley

Related Events


Tuesday, March 10
12:00 p.m.
2390 University Capitol Centre (Executive Boardroom, 2nd floor)
Discussion with Markéta Křížová

Dr. Markéta Křížová, Latin Americanist scholar, professor, and Vice-Dean at Charles University in Prague, will meet with grad students for a discussion (RSVP to

Wednesday, March 11
3:30 p.m.
1117 University Capitol Centre
Lecture by Markéta Křížová

Dr. Markéta Křížová, Latin Americanist scholar, professor, and Vice-Dean at Charles University in Prague, will give a lecture titled “Intellectual Colonialism in a Country without Colonies: The case study of Czech anthropological museology in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.”

Landlocked within the European mainland, the inhabitants of the Czech Lands scarcely participated in the overseas explorations and exploitations. Still, there were numerous and varied “colonial fantasies.” From the 1870s the Náprstek Museum constituted a center for knowledge about the lifestyles and cultures of non-European nations for Czech intellectuals and at the same time a platform for expressing their desire for colonial possessions and sense of entitlement to them. The museum offers an interesting case for studying the long-term continuations of the colonialist dreams of the small Central European nation.

Free and open to all.

Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19
University of Iowa Museum of Natural History
17 N. Clinton St., Macbride Hall, Iowa City

MAMMAL HALL is a site-specific, wandering adventure performance designed especially for the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History. Under the direction of choreographer Stephanie Miracle in collaboration with Michael Landez and students from the Department of Dance, this curious dance theater piece uses audio tours and original sound by Ramin Roshandel to guide audiences into unexpected events in the nooks and crannies, transforming the museum’s spaces and its inhabitants.

Performed by: Danica Clayton, Bennett Cullen, Sabrina Duke, Laila Franklin, Jenny Fairman, Hunter Glenn, Julia Miller, Alyssa Simpson, Anna Wetoska, and Dorthea Yu.

Support for this event was provided by the University of Iowa Division of Performing Arts. For more information, including dates, times, and tickets, please visit Tickets are required, but the event is free and open to the public.


Thursday, February 6, 5:30 p.m.
MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St.
WorldCanvass program: The Future of Museums

Listen to the show and/or read the transcript

What does the museum of the 21st century look like? What does it house? What is its role in the community? Does it see itself differently than museums of the past? And how do galleries, libraries, archives, and museums capture the zeitgeist of the time and reinvent themselves as expectations change? Join us for the first WorldCanvass program of 2020, when our guests will explore the future of museums. Free and open to all. Hosted by UI International Programs with support from the Stanley Museum of Art and the Obermann Center for Advanced studies. Pre-show reception from 5:00–5:30.

Monday, October 28, 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Iowa City Public Library, Room A
Black Curators’ Roundtable
Add to calendar

This event marks the end of the exhibition Anonymous Donor, guest-curated by Anaïs Duplan and shown at the Figge Art Museum as a part of the Stanley Museum of Art collections-sharing program, Legacies for Iowa, sponsored by the Matthew Bucksbaum Family. Join Duplan and curators Gia Hamilton, Eileen Isagon Skyers, and Gee Wesley in a moderated conversation about their practice working in multiple exhibit, artistic, and community contexts.

Free and open to all. Organized by the Center for Afrofuturist Studies at Public Space One and The Stanley Museum of Art with support from the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies