Museums of Berkeley

History 24

Spring 2016
Day & Time: 
W 200-400

This seminar is about museums in general and the rich museums of Berkeley in particular. Students will be introduced to the history of museums, to social policy questions relating to them, and to some current political debates about collections (the status of Native American artifacts, for example). The core of this seminar however is a series of museum visits that will be led by the instructor and by curators in each venue. We will go to the Berkeley Art Museum, the Pacific Film Archive, the Berkeley Botanical Garden, the Lawrence Hall of Science, the Hearst Museum, the Bancroft, the paleontology and insect collections in VLSB, and the  Magnes museum.  Our last meeting will be dinner and a tour of the SF Moma if it is open again by then or top another SF museum. No reading outside class is required.

Thomas Laqueur is a cultural historian who has written on the history of education, religion, medicine, human rights and working class politics as well as, more recently, on sexuality (two books)  and on questions of memory and memorialization. His moist recent book is called The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Human Remains.