Museum Anthropology Teaching Resources: University of British Columbia Part 2

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COURSE SYLLABUS—ANTH 341A: Museums, Heritage and Memory

Credits: 3 

Time and Place 
Term 1 (September 2, 2014 to November 28, 2014)
Tuesdays and Thursday, 2.00–3.30pm
Location: Buchanan D219

Withdrawal Dates
Last day to withdraw without a W standing: September 16, 2014
Last day to withdraw with a W standing 
(the course cannot be dropped after this date): October 10, 2014

Dr. Diana E. Marsh
Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Museum Anthropology
Department of Anthropology Room:  AnSo153
Office hour/s: Wednesdays, 11:00am–1:00pm
Phone: 604-822-9972

This course examines how, why, and in what contexts people commemorate, remember, forget, and communicate identity through public spaces, museums and monuments. The course investigates relations between collective and individual memory practices; tangible and intangible cultural heritages and the politics of remembering and forgetting. We discuss how the contexts for remembering and forgetting intersect with various cultural, political, socioeconomic, religious and global contexts, as well as how acts of preservation, contestation and/or the destruction of tangible heritage forms, such as sites, exhibitions and architectures, involve different national, local, ethnic, as well as global forms of power and multiple actors. Each week our discussions will focus on a topic in contemporary heritage literatures and debates, covering both the wider theoretical contexts for these discourses as well as focused or localized case studies.


Assigned readings will be accessible via Connect.
You are responsible for keeping up with the reading assignments. This means that you need to have reviewed the week’s readings before the classes dealing with those topics. Your participation grade will be largely dependent on your engagement with these readings, and it is expected that end of term paper will draw on the assigned readings.

There are four components for assessment and grading:

Participation and comment cards (15%)
TED/lightning presentation (15%)
Term paper (40%)
Final exam (30%) 

Class participation and weekly comment cards (15%): 

Participation: Assessment of class participation will take into consideration attendance as well as the quality of engagement with assigned readings and in-class contributions to the discussion. You are expected to actively demonstrate that you have read all required readings and are able to discuss their content as well as the issues raised by the author(s). 

Comment cards:  Each class, you are expected to come to class with a 4x6” comment card of notes and questions (at least 2 comments or questions) based on the week’s readings. Comment cards will be collected in lieu of taking attendance. During discussion sessions cards will be randomly selected to facilitate conversation.

In-class TED/lightning presentation (15%): 

Five (5) minute talk (timing strictly enforced) + presentation document of your choosing (notes, Keynote or Powerpoint slides, Prezi, youtube); multiple due dates assigned the second week of class.

During the course of the term you are required to present a five (5) minute TED/lightning style talk that discusses the week’s reading and stimulates and guides class debate. These presentations are intended to enable you to speak concisely and analytically about the week’s topic. You should be able to draw out salient themes or critical points from the readings and elucidate them in terms of a contemporary or historical case study, either from the reading or from your own independent research. The presentation should indicate that you have a lucid understanding of the theme in relation to relevant literature and examples/case studies. High marks will be given for demonstrating the following analytical and presentation skills:

• Summary • Illustration • Comparison • Argument • Critique • Conclusion

Term Paper (40%)
Due Tuesday, November 18th
10–12 pages of text— due Tuesday, November 18 (submitted by 11.59 pm online via Connect)

The term paper enables you to research and explore in more depth a particular topic of interest. The paper should be approximately 10–12 double-spaced pages, excluding your bibliography. The paper should indicate that you have a knowledge and understanding of the theoretical literature, and an ability to formulate a thesis and organize and articulate ideas in a clear, concise and persuasive manner. It should be well-organized and presented with a clear structure (introduction, body, conclusion) and follow academic style conventions (AAA, Chicago, Turabian or MLA is preferred). Your bibliography must include at least five published academic sources (i.e. books and articles published in academic journals), at least two of which should be scholarly articles assigned in the course.

Final Exam (30%): Monday, December 8, 2014 8:00 a.m.Tuesday December 9th, 2014 5:00 p.m.

Our final exam will be a timed, open-book, essay exam submitted online through the Connect site. At the designated start time, you will be able to log in to Connect and receive 10 possible essay questions to answer. You will answer two (2) questions in essay form. Be sure to keep a constant backup by working primarily from a Word or text document of your choice and to input into Connect for submission. This ensures that, should any technical issues arise, you will have your work saved. Your essays should follow style guidelines below. 

Other matters: submission, formatting, lateness, grading criteria

Submission & Formatting : All assignments must be submitted in digital copy by midnight on the date it is due, unless you have prior permission from the instructor. All assignments must be submitted via Connect in MICROSOFT WORD (.doc or .docx) or TXT DOC (NO PDF) 12 pt font, Times New Roman, double-spaced, paginated and with 1” margins.

Late Paper Policy: Because papers are being accepted digitally, late papers are unacceptable. Extensions for assignments will be given only in extenuating circumstances (documented illness and family emergency). One mark per day from the assigned grade is deducted for late assignments (including weekends).

Plagiarism and Academic Honesty: Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Please refer to the Faculty of Arts plagiarism guide at

Grading: The Faculty of Arts uses the following grading criteria: (Remember that in this course, points are not subtracted from 100%; rather, you build your grades from the ground up.)


Each week we will read and discuss a critical topic in considering museums and heritage sites as sites of memory. The first class of each week will cover the broad topic considered; the second class will cover case studies, examples, or current events that interrogate the topic. TED/lightning talk presentations will take place on at the beginning of each class. All readings not available through UBC library will be available on our Connect site. Required readings are notated with an *.