Past meets Present: National Socialism, Colonialism, and Identity in Four Viennese Historical Museums

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

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Students on-site
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Course Description: 

This course, offered jointly by Central European University and the University of Vienna, explores the ways in which historical museums exhibit, frame and narrate difficult (and often contested) pasts, with a focus on curatorial strategies, identity constructions, and subjective visitor experiences.  The courses consists of three parts: (1) class discussions, (2) museum visits, and (3) a final presentation.  The discussions, centered on selected readings in memory studies and museum studies, are intended to provide a theoretical introduction and to raise critical questions about museums and museology in preparation for the museum visits.  We will then visit four museums – Weltmuseum (Museum of Ethnology), Haus der Geschichte Österreich (House of Austrian History), Jüdisches Museum der Stadt Wien (Jewish Museum of the City of Vienna), and Wien Museum MUSA (Vienna Museum) –and meet with the directors or exhibition curators.  After the visits, students will prepare a virtual museum tour or a podcast, developing topics or themes the run through all four museums (e.g., National Socialism, Colonialism, and Identity Construction).  Collaboration with other students is highly encouraged.  The virtual tours and podcasts will be presented at the end of the course.    


Class Attendance

Active Class Participation

Museum Visits

Final Presentation