Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Heritage of Migrations - Museums and Society

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Arts, Open Communities and Adult Education

DESCRIPTION This study-unit shall present a broad overview of museums today and how this has evolved from the stereotypical understanding of what a museum should be to relate more to critical, participatory, inclusive and radical museology. It shall then explore the ways and means how museums are responding to communities and contexts by taking on a proactive role that goes beyond being collections and object-centred. Migration museums, oftentimes setup in response to historic economic migrations, shall be the case studies presented for discussion.

The study-unit shall also focus on inclusive education and explore how museums work with migrants and emigrants in the context of local politics and global processes.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of this study-unit is to raise students’ awareness to the needs of various social groups and corresponding subaltern narratives, especially those at risk of social exclusion and the ways and means how museums can also meet these needs. The study-unit shall also look at museums through the lens of identity and how this oftentimes sets the yardstick for subjective narratives that oftentimes also tend to be exclusive rather than inclusive. Students shall gain the skills to understand and take part in the organisation of inclusive education projects in museums, in particular, projects realized for and with migrants. The study-unit shall also present a general overview of the specific typology of migration museums and how these can be seen within the broader context of the museum landscape.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

i. relate to contemporary museology and the museum idea, including its latest evolution, by evaluating the migration museum typology and its history and development;
ii. define migration as a phenomenon through the lens of museology and museums, using migration museums as case studies;
iii. describe the social role, function and purpose of migration museums today and the ways and means how these relate to migrants through the analysis of their public programming and outreach, including participatory practice;
iv. identify the ways and means how migration stories can be told in museums not just through collections and material culture but also through a broader range of tools by using the narrative of display in these museums as case studies;
v. understand the theoretical models and frameworks that inform this specific typology of museums including liminal and frontier theory by evaluating the literature and pertinent case studies.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

i. demonstrate critical thinking skills by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of general perceptions towards migration through the lens of museology and migration museums;
ii. given a case study, interpret the context and background of migration and prepare adequate interpretative material for a museum audience;
iii. prepare a concept note guiding an outreach event for migrants, or focusing on a migrations-related topic, for museums with particular reference to migration museums or related narratives;
iv.prepare a concise paper on the necessary needs and requirements necessary to work with migrants in museums.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Coleman Laura-Edythe S. , “The Socially inclusive Museum - A Typology Reimagined” in The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, 9 ( 2), 2015, 41–57.
- Debono S., ‘MUŻA: Participative Museums and Adult Education’. Clover Darlene E., Sanfrod Kathy, Bell Lorraine, Johnson Kay (Eds.) Adult Education, Museums and Art Galleries – Animating Social, Cultural and Institutional Change. Sense Publishing, 2017, pp. 177 - 190.
- Falk John H. (et al.), “Living in a Learning Society: Museums and Free-Choice Learning” in MacDonald S. (ed.), A Companion to Museum Studies, Blackwell Publishing, 2006.
- Jagodzinska K., “The limits of Participation in a Museum?” in Muzealnictwo, 2016 (57), 83-92.
- Knapek A., “Anything Goes Museum, or the Five Senses of Participation” in Muzealnictwo, 2016 (57), 139-148.
- La Foresta D., “Migrants on the Move. Exploring Contemporary Migrations in Italy” in The Polish Migration Review, 2017 (1), 19-25.
- Nessel-Lukasik B., “ Audience Outside the Museum” in Muzealnictwo 2017(58), 79-87.
- Petelska M., “Museums of Migration: Migrants' Identity and Implementing the Museum’s Mission Statement – case studies from Poland and Canada” in Folga-Januszewska D. (ed.), Museums and identities: planning an extended museum, Warszawa 2019, 125-135.
- Poehls K., “Europe Blurred: Migration, Margins and the Museum” in Culture Unbound, 2011, 337–353.
- Polovyi M., “Forecasting the Dynamics of the Potential of International Migrations by 2050”, in The Polish Migration Review, 2017 (2), 72-84.
- Sani M., “Museums, Migration and Cultural Diversity - Recommendations for Museum Work” in Muzealnictwo, 2017(58), 84-91.
- Simon N., The Participatory Museum, Museum 2.0, 2010.
- Smith, A., Nationalism and Modernism – a critical survey of recent theories of nations and nationalism. London & New York: Routledge, 1998.

Supplementary Readings:

- Huntington, Samuel P. (1993). “The Clash of Civilisations?” Foreign Affairs. 72 (3). pp. 22 -49.
- Kosiewski P., “Upheavals. Suggestion for a new historical museum” in Muzealnictwo, 2016 (57), pp. 228-235.
- Majewski P., “Museum… And What Next?” in Muzealnictwo, 2020 (61), pp. 106-109.
- Whitehead Ch. (et. al), , Museums, Migration and Identity in Europe. Peoples, Places and Identities, London and New York: Routledge, 2016.
- Smith L., The Uses of Heritage, London & New York: Routledge, 2006.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Carmel P. Borg (Co-ord.)
Sandro Debono

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.