About Monique Scott

I joined Bryn Mawr as the Director of Museum Studies in 2015. Previously, I served as head of cultural education at the American Museum of Natural History for almost ten years. I specialize in museum anthropology, and am the author of 'Evolution in the Museum: Envisioning African Origins' (Routledge 2007). I also have much experience mentoring and teaching students and have taught graduate courses in museum studies at New York University and Columbia University. I received my BA from Vassar College and my PhD in Anthropology from Yale University. As a graduate of Vassar College, I am particularly thrilled to join Bryn Mawr and rejoin the Seven Sisters community.

Spring 2016 Courses

ANTH B271 Museum Anthropology: History, Politics, Practices This course provides an in-depth exploration of museum anthropology: the critical study of museum practices from an anthropological perspective. The course will fundamentally consider the role of museums in exhibiting culture–the politics of placing cultures on display, from living humans and human remains to cultural objects and artifacts. The course will also consider changing practices in museum anthropology, including repatriation efforts, shifting notions of heritage and identity and the emergence of community-curated exhibitions. This course complements the theoretical explorations of the museum with visits to area museums and hands-on work in Special Collections.

Psych B231 Health Psychology: (Society, and the Self – Stories at the Mütter Museum) How does society influence physical health and shape our perception of desease? What is the mind body connection and how has it been historically conceptualized? Jave identity differences/racial and gender health disparities been “overbiologized”? These are a sampling of the essential questions in students’ intellectual inquiry into Health Psychology. While Health Psychology students engage in the material via discussion, writing, lecture, film, and presentations, this course will also provide Health Psychology students access to the specimens and historical documents at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia. This visit would allow students to engage in critical Health Psychology inquiry, accessing material which currently exists in textbook images. Students enrolled in Health Psychology will have the opportunity to engage with critical, theoretical health psychology museum scholarship.

EDU 311: Fieldwork Seminar The organizing theme for this course is “Theories of Change” and within that focus we consider multiple perspectives on change from different sectors and disciplines, including: the business sector, the nonprofit sector, academia and research, district level initiatives, counseling / spiritual based realms, change within the classroom and media / journalism. This course also includes “Museum based theories and practices of change – to the individual and to society” to this emerging list of educational sectors and areas. The museum enables us to study issues already central to the education program, including – the construction, production and dissemination of knowledge and issues of identity, access and representation – through the new and complex lens of the museum. We can together consider concepts like: the “exhibit” as “curriculum” come to life for visitors, the museum as a site for constructing or legitimating knowledge or the museum as representation of others’ histories, identities and daily lives. In addition, the students engage in five hours of fieldwork in an educational site each week and do considerable work analyzing learnings accomplished in the field through the course.

Fall 2015 Courses

HART B300 The Curator in the Museum. This course provides an introduction to theoretical and practical aspects of museums and to the links between practice and theory that are the defining characteristic of the museum curator’s work today. The challenges and opportunities confronting curators and their colleagues, peers, audiences, and constituents will be addressed through readings, discussions, guest presentations, writings, and individual and group projects.

HART B373 Contemporary Art in Exhibition: Museums and Beyond. How does the collection and display of artwork create meanings beyond the individual art object? In recent decades, enormous shifts have occurred in exhibition design as artwork projected from the walls of the museum, moved outdoors to the space of the street, and eventually went online. We will study an array of contemporary exhibition practices and sites in their social and historical contexts, including the temporary exhibition, “the white cube,” the “black box,” museum installations, international biennials, and websites. During the seminar, we will examine how issues such as patronage, avant-gardism, globalization, and identity politics have progressively brought museums and other exhibition spaces into question.

HART B374 Topics: Exhibition Seminar: World’s Fairs. Beginning in 1851, World’s Fairs were large public exhibitions intended to put the world on display for a visiting public. Exhibits displayed the technological innovations of western nations, attempting to normalize the implicit exploitation of colonized lands and people involved. This course will attend to the practice of displaying human beings, especially women, in this effort. Students will learn about this exhibition history and present it in an exhibition of their own design.Students will gain practical experience in the production of an exhibition: conceiving a curatorial approach, articulating themes, writing didactics, researching a checklist, designing gallery layout, producing print and web materials, developing programs, and marketing the exhibit. Prerequisite: At least one previous HART course at Bryn Mawr College.


Barnes Foundation College Night


At the Barnes College Night, explore the Barnes collection alongside live music, performance, short stories and a few surprises, including a performance by Temple University’s Eric Montague Quintet, a dance choreographed and performed by Inger Cooper and her fellow University of the Arts alumni, and the global sounds of Worldtown. Worldtown’s high-energy performance merges live music and DJs for a global celebration perfectly in sync with the Barnes’s global art.

Access to the Barnes collection and special exhibitions included. Free; preregistration encouraged. Entrance with valid college ID only.


Museum Studies Tea–Wed, Nov 11!

The Museum Studies Program invites you to an Information and Idea-Sharing Tea 

  • Date: Wednesday, November 11
  • Time: 4:30-6pm
  • Where: Quita Woodward Room (Thomas)

At the Museum Studies Tea (i.e. pizza), you can learn about:

  • Course Offerings
  • Internships on and off campus
  • The College’s collections of more than 50,000 objects from around the world
  • Special events happening in Philadelphia museums

And, more importantly, this is an opportunity for you to:

Share YOUR IDEAS about what you’d like to see from Museum Studies at Bryn Mawr

Please join us in welcoming Museum Studies to Bryn Mawr!

Museum Studies Program


For current information on Museum Studies at Bryn Mawr, please visit:  https://www.brynmawr.edu/museumstudies

Bryn Mawr College is pleased to announce a new pilot Museum Studies Program that provides a rich and dynamic education in both museum theory and practice. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the history of museums and their roles in society as well as engage with critical, theoretical museum scholarship. Through coursework and internships, students will also have the opportunity to gain practical hands-on experience in the Bryn Mawr Special Collections as well as in museums in Philadelphia and beyond. The program will be dynamic and inter-disciplinary, intersecting disciplines such as the History of Art, Anthropology, Archaeology, History, Cities, Biology and Geology.  It will also call upon the College’s extensive collection of more than 50,000 objects from diverse regions around the globe as well as the College’s collection of rare books and prints, photographs and manuscripts. The Bryn Mawr Museum Studies program aims to empower students to change the world through their professional practices after Bryn Mawr and to become significant contributers to the world of museums and galleries.

For any questions regarding the Museum Studies program, please contact Dr. Monique Scott: Director of Museum Studies: mrscott@brynmawr.edu