Course Descriptions

  • Required Courses

    465.702 - Studies in World Heritage

    This course offers an in-depth exploration of World Heritage by focusing on the concept of heritage, both tangible and intangible, its historical development, its international conventions, and the role of society and history in its past, present, and future. Students will be asked to engage critically with contemporary heritage concepts such as authenticity, ownership, assessment, value, and preservation that form much of our global understanding of the field of cultural heritage studies. Through case studies, lectures, discussions, and readings, students will explore international heritage policy as structured by the institutional complex, and consider both its local and global impact.

    465.704 - Cultural Heritage Management/Leadership

    Cultural heritage management is a complex intersection of theory and practice. This course will explore issues related to cultural sector management and leadership. Through the lens of current practice, we will examine core theoretical concepts and tools, including traditional approaches as well as the incorporation of emergent technology. We will look closely at the roles of the cultural manager and the proficiencies and characteristics needed for effective management and leadership within the cultural sector. We will consider changing definitions of protection and stewardship as they relate to cultural heritage as well as a larger framing of public interest, what publics, which interests.

    465.708 - Two-Week Onsite Cultural Heritage Management Seminar

    A two-week intensive period of on-ground heritage management study in a location organized by the MA in Cultural Heritage Management program. The seminar includes practicum opportunities related to site management, heritage tourism, and conservation, alongside classroom sessions that integrate the daily experiences. Using the rich diversity of the designated location, the seminar provides students with the chance to use what they have learned in their prior courses, develop networks with fellow students and heritage experts, and explore the latest in cultural heritage practice. Students work on directed activities during the two-week period, coupled with multiple site visits focused on the academic work being accomplished. In order to register for this course, students must have completed a minimum of two courses in the program, although four or more courses are encouraged. One of these courses must be 465.704, students are also strongly encouraged to take 465.707 and some seminars may have other specific requirements. Individual course description will be posted for each location. Waiver option: Students who are unable to travel to a seminar location due to accommodation needs, financial hardship, or family challenges may apply to the program director for an exemption to the two-week seminar. If a waiver is granted, the student must enroll in the internship option (465.780) to fulfill the on-site component of the degree requirement.

  • Core Courses

    465.707 - Reading the Landscape: Cultural Heritage at Scale

    This course examines the unique challenges faced by academics and practitioners in defining, preserving and managing rural, natural, and urban heritage at a landscape scale. The multiplicity of interests involved add to the complexity and require robust engagement strategies. Students will use a regional, national and international perspective to derive best practices for understanding the breadth of the cultural landscape concept and the opportunities for its sustainable development. Students are strongly encouraged to take this course before enrolling in the Two-Week Onsite Cultural Heritage Management Seminar (465.708).

    465.710 - The Protection of Global Cultural Heritage: Laws, Policies, Politics, and Advocacy

    This course introduces students to cultural heritage law, as it relates to the interpretation, ownership, management, and protection of both tangible and intangible heritage. Using case studies taken from the court dockets and newspaper headlines, students will develop a solid background in relevant national and international legal concepts, while exploring how the law is implemented through policy and practice. They will also examine the impact of heritage’s continuing politicization, including the use (and misuse) of heritage in public commemoration, nation building, armed conflict, and violent extremism. To this end, from a global perspective, and through a legal and policy lens, the course takes an in depth look at key challenges and controversies affecting the field. It considers what can and cannot—and, for that matter, what should and should not—be done to protect heritage, and how these decisions affect politics, economics, and security from the local to the international levels.

    465.730 - Heritage and Representation: Approaches to Interpretation and Outreach

    Outreach and interpretation are key components of cultural heritage management and the visible link between heritage and its diverse publics. This course considers current practice and emerging developments in the field with an eye toward digital strategies and multimedia: (i.e. virtual reality, augmented reality, social media campaigns, and TV and web productions) as well as a broad range of heritage both tangible and intangible: from museums and sites, to archeological excavations, to urban and rural landscapes, and both the natural and built environment. It asks students to evaluate the impacts of engagement strategies and interpretation on diverse publics; from global travelers participating in heritage tourism to the grassroots efforts of indigenous communities. It looks critically at interpretation across global landscapes considering both the intended and unintended consequences of chosen narratives. This course looks closely at audience and community, the control of narrative and interpretation, and the short and long-term impact in terms of identity and access.

    465.732 - Engaging Communities in Heritage: Ownership, Stewardship, Sustainability, and Creative Cultural Expression

    Museums and other heritage institutions are increasingly recognizing the value of "bottom-up" heritage programming. This class will explore issues related to community engagement in the heritage sector as well as strategize ways to engage various constituencies in the formulation, collection, and presentation of their heritage. We will use global case studies (as related to memory and memorial, sites of conscience, marginalized histories, indigenous heritage, and eco-museums) to explore the challenges faced by such projects. Examining both the failures and successes will result in a broader understanding of best practices in the field and help us formulate effective strategies for future engagement.

    465.740 - Cultural Heritage in the Digital Age

    A Neolithic settlement in Scotland, at risk due to coastal erosion, is digitally preserved through precise 3D laser scanning; the construction of the massive towers at Cologne Cathedral is brought to life with digital photogrammetry and augmented reality; multilayered cultural heritage information, images, and damage assessments are catalogued in open source databases. These are just a few examples of how a growing number of scholars, researchers, and practitioners are using the latest technology as a means to document, visualize, interpret, and preserve cultural heritage worldwide.

    This course will explore the ways in which cultural heritage professionals are implementing the latest digital technologies to enhance research, conservation, management and preservation of tangible and intangible heritage, as well as methods of education and engagement for visitors. Through lectures, readings, assignments, and social media, students will identify, analyze and debate the use of documentation, visualization and content creation technology currently being used in the cultural heritage engagement, studies and practice, as well as envision its use for the future.

  • Elective Courses

    465.706 - Research Methods in Cultural Heritage

    The supervised research course enables students to investigate a significant problem or issue in cultural heritage and to develop and demonstrate leadership, critical thinking, and communication skills. The research project is expected to result in a deliverable, written or digital, that makes a contribution to the field of cultural heritage broadly defined. Coursework, assignments, and meetings with a faculty member will take place in an online course environment. This course is normally completed toward the end of the degree program.

    465.712 - Cultural Resource Management and Methods

    Cultural Resource Management (CRM) in the United States is critical to the identification, preservation, and mitigation of our national heritage. This course will cover cultural resource law, its political histories, statutes, jurisprudence, and practice in the United States, scaffolding our understanding of federal, state, and local regulations. Beyond the auspices of governing legislation, we will explore current issues facing CRM including the needs and priorities of varied stakeholders: native sovereign nations, federal cultural resource managers, state and local citizens, business and development, and the academy.

    465.714 - Culture as Catalyst for Sustainable Economic Development

    The role of cultural heritage in global developmental policy emphasizes a human centered and inclusive approach. The course will introduce students to the current global discourse on sustainable economic development and unpack the role of cultural heritage including the socio-economic impacts of investment. Students will consider the role of cultural heritage in long term development strategies and policy in order to assess impacts and effects. Cultural heritage will be considered as both a means and an end.

    465.716 - Cultural Heritage Risk Management and Security

    The 21st century has seen an unprecedented threat to our global heritage— from natural disasters, extreme weather events, and climate change, to military conflicts in some of our most sensitive areas of global heritage alongside the intentional targeting of cultural sites for destruction. In this course students will gain an understanding of the risks facing our global heritage. They will be introduced to a variety of security strategies and technologies implemented to protect and preserve sites from 21st century threats. And they will analyze the pros and cons of various approaches to create their own security and disaster mitigation proposals.

    465.734 - Heritage Tourism

    This course explores the practice and theory of heritage tourism and the history of its developments and impacts. Through the lens of sustainable economic development, it will examine the benefits and challenges of tourism and site management in both rural and urban contexts.

    465.780 - Internship

    An internship at a cultural heritage organization, approved by the internship coordinator, may be substituted for one elective course. To fulfill the internship requirement, a student must complete a minimum of 80 hours of work on-site and a project, (either a research paper or a practical product) on an approved topic related to his/her experience, due at the end of the semester. Students also participate in online discussion and course work during the semester. Before registering for the internship option, the student should contact the internship coordinator for approval. At least four to six weeks before the beginning of the semester in which the internship will take place, the student must submit: 1) a description of the internship weekly duties including activities and/or responsibilities; 2) learning objectives and goals; 3) why this experience should be part of the Cultural Heritage Management degree; and 4) a signed letter of commitment from the internship supervisor. Students must have completed a minimum of two courses in the program before registering for this internship.