Date of Graduation

Fall 12-11-2020

Document Access

Restricted Project/Capstone - USF access only

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Museum Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


Museum Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Paula J. Birnbaum


Museums face a number of moral and ethical issues with the display of culturally diverse objects. Over the last few years, public criticisms have been focused on the Euro-centric narrative constructions plaguing our institutions object displays educational curricula. Museums have actively worked to combat this problematic basis; however, they rarely meet the public’s call for action. The public has plead for decolonization. Former institutional actions are only ever employed in museum departments on public view. In order for there to be a concrete change in the field of museology, decolonization practices must fundamentally start in collections. This thesis presents a broad overview for the cultural developments of collections methodology, dives into current museological controversies, and uncovers the societal needs for institutional change. A collective study of collections based universities and public museum helps identify areas for departmental review and builds a strategic foundation for more lasting changes.

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