This is most recent syllabus. Your final syllabus will be given during your first day of class
Important Note: Spots are limited. An application is required, which you will receive by email. The Umbra Institute will not be able to guarantee enrollment to all that apply.
This course has two main academic components: one experiential (practicum) and one reflective (seminar). The practicum provides you with direct experience in an inclusive professional setting for 3 hours per week. The seminar meets every week for 1.5 hours to explore disciplinary theory through readings, discussions, and personal reflection.
This course is in collaboration with Palazzo Sorbello House Museum, a house museum with paintings, porcelains, printed works, manuscripts, and embroidered fabric collections; the House Museum Marini Clarelli Santi, a newly established house museum whose collections illustrate the history of Perugia over the past five centuries; and/or the Museo Capitolare di San Lorenzo, Cathedral Museum of Perugia, an ecclesiastical museum established in 1923 whose collections illustrate the rich artistic activity revolving around the construction and decoration of the Cathedral.
The seminar is based on readings, interactive class discussions, and group work focusing on the nature and function of museums as ‘theaters of memory’ that communicate a sense of place and identity. It will also examine the transformation of a traditional museum into a more dynamic center for contemporary arts. You will also learn about the cultural and artistic heritage in Italy, the region of Umbria, and Perugia.
The practicum will familiarize you with the operations and functions of the museums by working with staff to create promotional and website materials for English-speaking visitors; archive new museum additions; give guided tours of the museum; and prepare exhibitions, conferences, and other cultural events. At the end of the semester, you will present your practicum experience to the Umbra community.
In this course, you will
- gain a heightened sense of intercultural awareness;
- develop an appreciation for how the community partner, as part of the host culture, conveys an identity and sense of place;
- explore a body of disciplinary knowledge and theory with which to interpret and analyze the practicum experience; and
- practice critical thinking and communication skills as a result of integrating theory with practice and synthesizing learning into a final project.
You will visit Siena and take a rare and private tour of one of the historic contrade and its museum, or neighborhoods, which participate in the famous Palio horse race.