DMD 3998-014: (Variable Topics) Museums and Activism (Conversion Opportunity)

Instructor: Clarissa Ceglio

Prerequisites: Open to sophomores or higher.

While this is not an Honors course, Prof. Ceglio welcomes Honors students of all majors and would be happy to offer Honors conversions for interested students. Experience with digital media tools welcome but not required.

Museums are sites of activism, protest, and struggle over such critical issues as representation, cultural ownership, public accountability, and national belonging. Through a series of case studies, we will explore the history of activists, museum practitioners, and others who, from the late 1800s to the present, have challenged museums to become more inclusive, equitable, and active in civic life. Equipped with that background, we’ll grapple with one of the most difficult questions facing the field today: Should be museums be a medium for social justice and activism on such urgent civic issues as climate change, voter’s rights, immigration, and anti-Black racism? What are the opportunities, limits, and issues for institutions that step beyond traditional notions of museum neutrality? Students will use this knowledge to help present the past, present, and future of museum activism in digital form, working with a team of scholars and practitioners on a Greenhouse Studios digital publication.

This course will be offered online (asynchronous). You will have access to class materials online using HuskyCT, and you will not be expected to be available at any particular time.

Contact for questions and permission number

For more information about Greenhouse Studios, for which Professor Ceglio is Associate Director of Research, see: