Course Information
Course title
Taiwan through the Lens of Its Museums 
Designated for
Asian Art Program  
Curriculum Number
Curriculum Identity Number
Wednesday 7,8,9(14:20~17:20) 
The upper limit of the number of students: 20. 
Ceiba Web Server 
Course introduction video
Table of Core Capabilities and Curriculum Planning
Association has not been established
Course Syllabus
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Course Description

At once a Taiwan studies and a museum studies course, this course analyzes a variety of museums in Taiwan—their history, location, architecture, contents, and their constructed narratives—with critical readings in museum studies. The museums featured range from archaeology to contemporary art, from natural history to ethnography, and from concrete artifacts to intangible cultural heritage and digitized material in virtual reality. All are conveniently located in the greater Taipei area for visitations.

Each class will consist of a 2-hour lecture by the instructor, followed by a 1-hour group discussion on key readings or video clips led by the TA. There will be a few museum trips to give students first-hand experiences of institutions introduced in class. Seasoned curators and museum professionals will be invited to give students perspectives from behind-the-scenes.

The course’s goal is threefold: (1) it introduces students to the unique arts, cultures, peoples, and histories of Taiwan as represented through its museums, (2) it brings attention to the historical context that engendered these institutions, (3) and it draws awareness to the theory and practice of collecting, display, and interpretation at work behind the museum’s narratives.

Readings will be mostly in English and occasionally in Chinese. International and local students are strongly encouraged to partner with each other to complete readings and exchange ideas. We will focus on one museum each week and read the museums’ official publications, second-hand scholarship, and studies on similar types of museums abroad.  

Course Objective
(1)Students will be interested in and have a basic understanding of the art, history, culture, and peoples of Taiwan, as well as the history of its museums.

(2)Students will have a basic grasp of key scholarship and topics in museum studies.

(3)Students will develop a critical approach in future museum visitations, being aware of the institution’s ideologies at play behind seeming neutral and objective displays.  
Course Requirement
**There are no mid-term or final exams for this class.

Class Participation:
(1) attending and participating actively in classes,
(2) completing museum visit worksheets and other homework,
(3) submitting a short review of the class at the end of the semester (2-3 pages)

Class Presentation:
Students will do a 20-minute group presentation (4-5 persons per group, 8-10 groups in total) at the end of the semester.
Student Workload (expected study time outside of class per week)
Office Hours
Appointment required. Note: Please email teaching staff for appointments.  
Textbooks (學期參考書)

Preziosi, Donald, and Claire Farago, eds., Grasping the World: The Idea of
the Museum. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Co., 2004. [hereafter GW]

Carbonell, Bettina M. ed. Museum Studies: An Anthology of Contexts. Oxford,
UK: Blackwell Publishing, 2004. [hereafter MSAC]

Knell, Simon J. [et al.], eds. National Museums: New Studies From Around the
London; New York: Routledge, 2011. [hereafter NM]  
Designated reading
Assigned and Further Readings 指定閱讀及延伸閱讀

Weekly Readings (每週進度)

Week 1: Introduction: Approach, Topics, and Goals

“General Introduction: What Are Museums For?” in Preziosi and Farago, eds., Grasping the World: The Idea of the Museum (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2003), pp.1-10.

Week 2: The Birth of Museums: Critical Issues in Museology

Pick one:

Bennet, Tony. “The Formation of the Museum,” In The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics (London & New York, Routledge, 1995), pp.17-47.

Bal, Mieke. “The Discourse of the Museum,” in Greenberg et al. ed., Thinking about Exhibitions, London: Routledge, 1996), pp.201-220.

Week 3: Taiwan’s Museums: A General History

Pick one:

Knell, Simon. “National Museums and the National Imagination,” in NM, pp.3-28.

Chu, Chi-Jung. “Political change and the national museum in Taiwan,” in NM, pp.180-192.

Further reading:

Culture Museums: An introduction to the specialized museums of Taiwan's Counties and Cities (Taipei, Taiwan: The Council for Culture Affairs, 2001). [**skim to get a sense of local government exhibition centers featuring aspects of regional culture]

Week 4: Taiwan’s Native Peoples: NTU Museum of Anthropology (台大人類學博物館)

Varutti, Marzia V, “Taiwanese memory revisited,” ICOM News Magazine 64.3 (2011).

Varutti, Marzia V, “Miniatures of the nation: ethnic minority figurines, mannequins and dioramas in Chinese museums,” Museum and Society 9.1 (2011).

Pick one:

Goldwater, Robert. “Development of Ethnology Museums,” in MSAC (Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing, 2004).

胡家瑜. “從民族學研究到異文化展示:由台大人類學系『原住民物質文化』特展談起”,《國立台灣大學考古人類學刊》51 (1996): 148-171。

胡家瑜. “博物館、人類學與原住民展示─歷史過程中文化再現場域的轉形變化”,《國立台灣大學考古人類學刊》66 (2007): 94-124。

**For readings beyond Week 4, see Ceiba course website and hardcopies on our course reserves shelf, Main Library 1F, Shelf VK-7 (  
Explanations for the conditions
Class Presentation 
Class Presentation (50%): Students will do a 20-minute group presentation (4-5 persons per group, 8-10 groups in total) at the end of the semester. Students will be assigned group grades based on: (1) presentation proposal (includes 1-page abstract, 1-page outline, 1-page references) (5%); (2) oral presentation (a powerpoint presentation or a physical exhibition) (25%); (3) written report on the presentation topic (10 pages) (20%); **Refer to weekly schedule for submission deadlines and Ceiba course website for instructions and grading criteria. Possible presentation topics may include the comparison and critique of: (1) similar types of museums from the student’s home country and Taiwan; (2) two museums in Taiwan that approach the same subject differently; (3) a proposal for a new museum to be established in Taiwan (explain what aspect of Taiwan it accounts for and why the subject deserves a museum). At least one of the museums discussed must not have been covered in class. Students must refer to secondary scholarship to frame their analyses and are encouraged to use one of NTU’s many campus museums as their case studies. 
Class Participation 
Class Participation (50%): Students earn this grade by: (1) attending and participating actively in classes (20%), (2) completing museum visit worksheets and other homework (25%), (3) submitting a short review of the class at the end of the semester (2-3 pages) (5%). No more than 3 absences will be excused starting from Week 3, otherwise the attendance grade will be 【F】. In the case of illness, family emergencies, or other excusable scenarios, absences can be excused when a formal notice and necessary documentation (eg. doctor’s note) is submitted via myNTU within a week. **Refer to Ceiba course website for full policies regarding absences and late submissions.  
Week 1
09/14  Introduction: Approach, Topics, and Goals  
Week 2
09/21  The Birth of Museums: Critical Issues in Museology  
Week 3
09/28  Taiwan’s Museums: A General History  
Week 4
10/05  Taiwan’s Native Peoples: NTU Museum of Anthropology (台大人類學博物館) **Class Trip (I): NTU Museum of Anthropology  
Week 5
10/12  Taiwan’s Cultural Legitimacy: National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院) 
Week 6
10/19  Taiwan’s Art: Taipei Fine Arts Museum (台北市立美術館) 
Week 7
10/26  Museums on NTU Campus (台大博物館群)

**Guest Speaker: NTU Museums Staff Topic: “Introduction to NTU Museums: History and Fun Facts”

**Class Trip (II): NTU Museums**Skim NTU Museums website: 
Week 8
11/02  **Class Trip (IV): TFAM  
Week 9
11/09  Taiwan’s Natural History: National Taiwan Museum (國立台灣博物館)

**Guest Speakers: NTM Researcher / Education Specialist

Topic: “Behind the Scenes at NTM”

*NPM worksheet due. 
Week 10
11/16  Taiwan’s Historical Trauma: 228 Memorial Museums (二二八紀念館) 
Week 11
11/23  Taiwan’s Literature: National Museum of Taiwan Literature (國立台灣文學館) 
Week 12
11/30  **Class Trip (V): National Taiwan Museum** 
Week 13
12/07  **Class Trip (VI): National 228 Memorial Museum**  
Week 14
12/14  **Student Presentation (Group A)** 
Week 15
12/21  **Student Presentation (Group B)** 
Week 16
12/28  No Class 
Week 17
01/04  No Class. 
Week 18
01/11  No Class. Final papers and class reviews due. 
Week 1-1
  Lecture PPT for Week 1  
Week 2-1
  W2_Reading and Discussion Questions 
Week 2-2
  W2_Lecture and Discussion PPTs 
Week 3-1
  W3_Reading and Discussion Questions 
Week 3-2
  W3_Lecture and Discussion PPTs 
Week 4-1
  Reading and Discussion Questions 
Week 4-2
  W4_Lecture and Discussion PPTs 
Week 5-1
  W5_Reading and Discussion Questions 
Week 5-2
  W5_Lecture and Discussion PPTs 
Week 6-1
  W6_Reading and Discussion Questions 
Week 6-2
  W6_Lecture and Discusstion PPTs 
Week 7-1
10/30  **Class Trip (III): National Palace Museum, Southern Branch (故宮南院)  
Week 9-1
  W9_Reading and Discussion Questions 
Week 9-2
  W9_Lecture and Discusstion PPTs 
Week 10-2
  W10_Reading and Discussion Questions 
Week 10-3
  W10_Lecture and Discussion PPTs 
Week 11-1
  W2_Reading and Discussion Questions 
Week 11-2
  W11_Lecture and Discussion PPTs 
Week 12-1
  Lecture& TA Discussion PPTs for Week 12