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Fall 2009

STUDIES IN CHAPS: Cultures on Display: Museums, Heritage and Representation

Dr. Erin Hasinoff

Through the study of art, ethnographic and social history exhibitions, this course introduces a series of discussions about the representation of culture in museums and the politics of cultural heritage. We focus on contemporary global examples of exhibitions drawn from literature in anthropology, archaeology, and museum studies, which trace the museum as a vital site for the expression of national, group and individual identities, and as a unique place of performance and consumption. We look at a range of issues from the diverse and often conflicting perspectives of museum practitioners, critics and audiences. Through weekly readings and structured conversations we probe the decisions involved in how museums and exhibits are designed, what messages they convey, and what makes them effective. We also consider some of the limitations of museums, and how they can become sites of controversy. Attention is given to developing a critical awareness of the politics of exhibiting culture, and to reviewing exhibitions.


ADVANCED TOPICS IN CHAPS: Architectural Preservation: Philosophy and Practice

Michael J. Mills

The course will explore the fundamentals of architectural preservation through a coordinated program of class discussion, fieldwork, documentation, and case studies. Students will study the sources, methods, and standards that inform preservation practice, and will apply their theoretical knowledge in real world, hands on situations. Working both individually and in groups, students will gain familiarity with the range of architectural styles, materials, and construction methods that comprise New Jersey’s physical heritage. Case studies will illuminate the preservation issues and approaches that are inherent in preservation projects in New Jersey and the nation. New Brunswick’s local neighborhoods and the Rutgers campus will serve as a laboratory for teaching skills in the assessment of historic structures. Course discussion will tie these issues and methods to the broader, global preservation movement.

Partnership UNESCO

unesco logo enCHAPS is pleased to announce the finalization of a five year, renewable Memorandum of Understanding with UNESCO, with the goal of working in a spirit of cooperation to reinforce links between our institutions through joint research and academic staff and graduate student development.
Working in partnership with UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, we will collaborate in areas that include: collaborative research projects; exchange of graduate and postgraduate students; students grant programs, summer programs, operational workshops; academic exchanges or development programs between universities, including study visits at UNESCO; events and activities such as exhibitions, itinerant exhibitions, and conferences, as well as organization of national, regional or international meetings; collaboration on planning, design and management issues associated with preservation of the built environment, cultural and historic urban landscapes, and the art and artifacts that constitute our cultural heritage.

More specifically, CHAPS will collaborate with WHC in the following areas:

o serve as a center for education, research, and scholarship in Cultural Heritage Preservation through courses, internship projects, and directed research.

o address WHC priority topics including the impact of World Heritage listing; new initiatives for the conservation of historic urban centers (HULs); concepts of authenticity and integrity in preservation and conservation; effects of climate change on preservation of the monuments, art and artifacts; roles of diverse communities and human rights in developing; managing and sustaining historic sites, monuments, artifacts and art; war, ethnic conflict and destruction and strategies for preserving cultural heritage in the 21st Century.

o partner with the World Heritage Centre to identify internship, research, and training opportunities for students to contribute to World Heritage.

o link heritage professionals and academics to promote interdisciplinary dialogue through symposia and/or “young scholar” workshops that address current issues in Global Cultural Heritage Preservation.

o publish the papers from Rutgers’ 2012 international conference Cultural Landscapes: Preservation Challenges in the 21st Century, as a volume in the Routledge Press series Key Issues in Cultural Heritage under the title Conserving Cultural Landscapes: Challenges and New Directions.

o Cengage a broader public in discussions of the meaning and impact of World Heritage listing, the concept on outstanding universal value, and the role of communities in sustaining these sites through promotion of workshops, public lectures and community outreach.

Education, Research, Scholarship

o CHAPS will offer a range of advanced courses, seminars and studios in collaboration with departments and schools on campus that examine issues and stimulate research within the field of cultural heritage preservation Studies, including topics on the World Heritage priorities list

o CHAPS will offer international summer programs in Cultural Heritage Preservation based in Prague/Krakow in 2013 and 2014.

o CHAPS Abroad: Prague and Krakow will provide a comparative study of two cities whose historic centers are inscribed on the World Heritage List (Krakow 1978; Prague 1992). It combines a seminar that examines the impact of World Heritage listing, rapid economic development, tourism and climate change with internships in cultural institutions and agencies devoted to the preservation of cultural heritage.

o Rutgers will coordinate with its UNESCO partner, World Heritage Centre, to facilitate the exchange of research, scholarship, technical expertise, and student training and internships in Cultural Heritage Preservation issues related to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Support CHAPS

You can make a tax-deductible gift to the Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies(CHAPS),  Department of Art History in several ways:

  • You can mail us a check directly. Please make check payable to the Rutgers University Foundation and specify CHAPS, Department of Art History in the memo line. Please send checks to:

    CHAPS Alumni and Public Relations

    c/o Geralyn Colvil
    Department of Art History
    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
    71 Hamilton Street
    New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1167
  • You can make a secure online donation at the Rutgers University Foundation website. Online donations will be processed by the Rutgers University Foundation. In the drop down menu, please select “Other.” When another drop down menu appears, please type “Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies (CHAPS)” in the box. Gifts to Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies(CHAPS),  Department of Art History will also be credited towards your Class Gift.
  • You can designate us as the recipient of your annual gift. Whenever you make a pledge to The Rutgers Fund, please make sure you specify that you would like your gift to be designated to the Department of Art History. Gifts to CHAPS, Department of Art History will also be credited towards your Class Gift.


Learn more about how you can make a difference by visiting the Rutgers University Foundation website.

Department of Art History
Voorhees Hall
71 Hamilton Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
  Phone 848.932.7041
Fax 732.932.1261