Sunday, 11 March 2018

MMSt 2018: THESIS PROJECTS

RESEARCH COLUMN

BY: SERENA YPELAAR

Hello Musings readers! This special post is the first in a series of installments featuring the work of the MMSt Class of 2018. This weekend, we're catching up with our brilliant thesis students to see what research they've been working on for their degree. Read on below to hear about their projects!

The​ ​Future​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Past:​ ​Third-Party​ ​Heritage​ ​Preservation​ ​Interventions​ ​and 3D​ ​Printing Technologies
Sydney Stewart Rose

Supervisor: Dr. Cara Krmpotich
Second reader: Dr. Seamus Ross, former Dean of the iSchool

Dry-dusting at work, where I specialize in intellectual property rights and copyright laws (a key aspect of my thesis research). Photo courtesy of Sydney Stewart Rose.
My project examines the use of 3D printing technologies in projects which seek to recreate cultural property destroyed in Syria by ISIS. I was really interested in thinking about the ways these types of projects may create new heritage narratives or potentially contribute to colonizing narratives. I’ve been looking at three high profile cases which use 3D printing technologies to restore cultural property destroyed by ISIS. I’m using them to create a framework to consider how these types of projects may actually contribute to colonizing narratives and offer insight into a decolonizing approach to third-party heritage intervention projects.


Close to Home: Alberta’s Local Museums on Canada’s Cultural Landscape
Kristen McLaughlin 

Supervisor: Dr. Cara Krmpotich
Second reader: Siobhan Stevenson 

I don't really have any photos of myself at work, but for my research I visited each museum, camping along the way to get a better feel for the local landscape. However, as you can see, that meant I didn't really look very glamorous for a few months. Here I am in my first campsite in the Crowsnest Pass in the Rockies of Southern Alberta, with a bit of a smoky background from all the surrounding forest fires of 2017. Photo courtesy of Kristen McLaughlin.
For the past year and a half, I’ve studied the community engagement practices of local museums, using three case studies in Alberta to better understand these distinct contexts. I’m interested in this aspect of museum studies because, as someone who did not grow up with the large urban institutions we are familiar with in this program, I noticed that local museums stories are not common in museum studies literature and work. I felt that it was important to acknowledge and try to understand the relationships between local museums and their communities—both the obstacles and the successes—and what this might mean on a larger scale.

Research possible thanks to the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.


Affective Metadata for Object Experiences in the Art Museum
Erin Canning

Supervisor: Dr. Costis Dallas
Second reader: Dr. Cara Krmpotich

Affective metadata workshop at the 2018 iSchool Student Conference. Photo courtesy of Hannah Monkman.
For my thesis, I am exploring how to structure information about visitor experiences so that we can document it similar to how we catalogue objects – how that information can be made amenable to integration into a database, what that database would look like, and what that information would look like once it was in there. I am interested in the affective experiences that museum visitors have with artworks, and using data modeling as a way to really understand those experiences. My thesis draws together my experience as a CRO: I am applying the information systems design principles from my MI degree in the museum domain. 

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I'm in awe of these three talented MMSt/CRO students and their dedication to such extensive and important research. Excellent job Sydney, Kristen, and Erin - thank you for sharing!

Stay tuned for next weekend's article, where we'll feature the first batch of exhibition projects in the MMSt Class of 2018! 

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