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Advanced Heritage and Museum Studies 2


Admission requirements

Admission to the Research Master Archaeology programme or to the conditional RMA Archaeology track.

This is a mandatory course for students taking the RMA Archaeology Heritage in a Globalising World or Religion and Society in Native American Cultures.


This course addresses advanced topics in heritage and museum studies. It connects critical heritage theories to concrete forms of rethinking heritage and museum work in practice.

The first part of the course focuses on critical approaches to museum studies. Through a critical analysis of case studies and literature we will explore topics such as the history of collections and collecting, the politics of representation and self-representation, issues of authority, control and inclusion/exclusion, claims to repatriation, the concept of authenticity, national heritage and postcolonialism, among others.

The second part of the course turns to community heritage and global challenges. We will explore foundational concepts relating to community, universalisms, and grounding global-local interconnections, as well as topics including sustainable development, marginalised communities, migration, displacement, and environmental issues.

Course objectives

  • Understanding and a working appreciation of both theoretical and practical approaches to key issues in the field of museum history and museum anthropology;

  • Ability to critically engage with global challenges that underpin heritage debate, identity, destruction and protection of cultural material;

  • Understanding assumptions embedded in policy and in universal and globalised discourses and practices;

  • Ability to encourage and conduct stimulating discussions as well as to give feedback to other students;

  • Ability to plan original research in or with communities that include innovative theoretical reflections and participatory methodologies;

  • Ability to connect broader themes in advanced heritage and museum studies to one's own RMA research questions.


Course schedule details can be found in the RMA and RMSc time schedule.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars and discussion groups;

  • Tutorials;

  • Museum visits.

Course load

The course load will be distributed as follows:

  • 14 x 2 hours of tutorials and seminars (2 ec);

  • Literature and written assignments (2 ec);

  • 1 essay of 1,800-2,000 words. (1 ec).

Assessment method

  • Assignments (50%);

  • Essay – exhibition review (50%).

The assignments should be connected (in content, topic, OR method) to your own RMA research proposal.

Only the essay can be retaken.

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in the RMA and RMSc examination schedule.

Reading list

To be announced on the first day of the course.


Registration via uSis is mandatory.

  • The Administration Office will register all BA1 students for their tutorials (not lectures; register via uSis!).

  • BA2, BA3, MA/MSc and RMA/RMSc students are required to register for all lectures and tutorials well in time.

  • The Administration Office registers all students for their exams, students are not required to do this in uSis.


For more information about this course, please contact dr. I.R. Simpson.


Compulsory attendance.