Teaching Museum Digital Practice in 2019

The Master of Arts in Museum Studies program at The George Washington University responds to the evolving museum profession by combining hands-on training with future-focused theoretical engagement. Students who enrol in the program gain foundational knowledge about the state of museum work today, practical skills and the ability to critically engage with developments in the field.

In Museums and Digital Technology, these goals are met in the form of a syllabus that concurrently gives a broad overview into the issues related to technology in museums today; a deep engagement with a topic of personal or professional interest through a research project; experience in a collaborative creative environment through the peer review process; and practical skills in Markdown language. At the end of the semester, each student has a published piece to share with peers, colleagues and friends.

Each student is responsible for defining and researching their topic and writing their paper. Dr Suse Anderson, Assistant Professor in Museum Studies, working closely with Greg Albers, Digital Publication Manager at the Getty, was responsible for compiling the final book.

This project, which is intended to run annually, was designed by Dr Anderson, informed by her experience co-editing several digitally-informed publishing projects, including CODE|WORDS Technology and Theory in the Museum, which brought together leading museum thinkers and practitioners to explore the impact of digital technology on the nature of museums, and Humanizing the Digital: Unproceedings from the 2018 MCN Confererence, which responded to the MCN annual conference. Produced in less than four months, Humanizing the Digital contains 17 reflections, case studies, conversations, essays, and an experimental in-book zine, from 34 different contributors. It also marks a specific moment in time. Likewise, it is intended that each book in the The State of Museum Digital Practice series will stand as a marker of each cohort of students and their concerns and interests in a specific timeframe.

We hope you enjoy this publication, produced by the fall class of 2019.