Welcome New Museum Studies Students!

Last night was the orientation for the incoming Museum Studies students. Jess and I tagged along to meet them all and to talk about the blog, and we are so excited about the newcomers! There are a lot of intelligent, enthusiastic and passionate people coming in to the program. There is a wide variety of interests and experiences, which will lead to some captivating guest posts.

We heard from Cynthia Robinson, the director of the program, and many of the Tufts professors (most of whom are working in museums as their day job) about their plans for their courses. There have been some changes to the courses since last semester, so check them out here if you haven’t had a chance to take a look. It definitely made me wish I could take more than four courses a semester!

A portion of the new students listen to Cynthia Robinson, director of the program, as she discusses internship opportunities

A portion of the new students listen to Cynthia Robinson, director of the program, as she discusses internship opportunities

We wish everyone the best of luck with the new semester! We’re both here and available to talk about the blog, about Tufts, or about life in general. If you’d like to post something (or many things!) on the blog you can contact us at tufts.museum.blog@gmail.com – we’d love to hear from you! Remember that you can submit papers that you’ve written for class or reviews of museums that you are already going to in your free time.


Good luck this fall!

Colleen & Jess

New Co-Editors

It’s finally summer! The traditional academic year has finished, which means less papers, lots of summer internships, and – most importantly –  no more snow!!  We’d like to welcome all the new alumni, freshly admitted museum studies students, and the dedicated readers who have been with us here at the Museum Studies Blog all along. If you’ve been reading the blog recently, you know that our long-time contributor and editor, Tegan Kehoe, has graduated and is continuing her museum work at the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of History and Innovation at MGH. We wish her the best of luck on her journey!

With that in mind, we, your new editors, would like to introduce ourselves and tell you a little bit about our plans for the blog.

About us

Meet Colleen

I am very excited to be touching the Washington Monument

I am very excited to be in such close proximity to the Washington Monument on my first trip to DC!

Hi, everyone! I’m very excited to be taking the helm of the blog with Jess.

A little about me: I’ve just completed my first year of the Museum Education Master’s program. Originally from the Midwest, I grew up in the Chicago area and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (what’s up, fellow Badgers?!). I lived in Madison for five years while studying secondary social studies education and trying my hand at teaching in a variety of communities .

Museum-wise, I am really into city museums, especially after working with the Chicago History Museum, as well as accessibility (in regards to both visitors and collections), visitor studies, and community engagement – although what museum educator isn’t into anything that includes the word “engagement?” Although history museums hold a special place in my heart, I am interested in the different ways in which education is viewed in all types of museums. Outside of museums, I am an avid reader, a history nerd, a runner, a baseball fan, and a pub-trivia-night enthusiast, among many other things.

Meet Jess

Returning Jumbo's ashes to the Sports Center after Jumbo: Marvel, Myth, and Mascot.

Happily returning Jumbo’s ashes to the Tisch Sports Center after Jumbo: Marvel, Myth, and Mascot.

Hi! Like Colleen, I’m excited to have inherited this blog from very capable predecessors! I’m really looking forward to continuing their project.

I recently finished my first year of the Art History and Museum Studies MA program. I came to Tufts right after completing my undergrad at Reed College in Portland, OR (good thing I grew up in Connecticut and can handle my snow!). Academically, I tend to focus on trauma theory and memory politics. In the museum world, this translates to working in collections management and the archives. I care about access, conservation/preservation, cataloging, and provenance. Given my background, I usually gravitate towards art and history museums, but am easily won over by the promise of a spectacle. Away from museums, I enjoy riding my bike, reading novels, and listening to NPR.

About our goals

Why are we telling you all of this? We’d like to be as transparent as possible as blog moderators and posters. By sharing our experiences and philosophies, we hope to allow all our readers to know where we are coming from when we write new posts. This way when you read a post, you can decide for yourself if what we’ve said rings true for you. We’re all about critical thinking and examining your sources here at Tufts! You can agree or disagree with us – we’d love to hear your opinions either way.

We have several personal goals for the blog, which we’d like to share with you in the interest of full disclosure. We would love to continue the community centered focus of the blog, and even increase it as a forum for discussion. We believe that the best ideas come from conversation with others, and our readership has such varied backgrounds, interests, and abilities, so we’re betting we will have very interesting discussions. (On a personal level, we also just really love seeing how each person can look at one topic or issue and see it in a completely different light.) Our goal is to provide a space for students and professionals to share their opinions, experiences, and ideas. Please do not hesitate to comment or share your thoughts, as long as we maintain our supportive atmosphere!

Along with discussion on current posts, audience input on future subjects and topics of discussion is an important goal of ours. This blog is intended to help museum studies students and museum professionals to stay connected and share ideas. If you have an idea for a type of post you want to write, a subject you want to read about more often, or even a blog or article you think we should check out, we would love to include your voice! You can check out the “About the Blog” section or just email us at tufts.museum.blog[at]gmail.com.


Finally, we would like to let you know that soon we will be emailing out a link through Angela Foss to a survey that we have created. The purpose is to help us evaluate the blog and to continue to serve our readership in the most effective way possible. We want to make sure that we are writing about the types of posts you are interested in, and on the subjects that you want to hear about. Please take a few moments to complete the survey when you get it – it will only serve to make the blog stronger!

Looking forward to exploring and discussing with all of you!

Colleen & Jess

Transitioning into the Wider World

I’ve been putting off writing this post, and it’s probably because it’s hard to say goodbye. I hope that readers don’t mind the diaristic style of this last post from me, and I hope that my fellow graduates feel it speaks to their experience as well.

Three days ago, I officially graduated with a Master’s in History and Museum Studies. After listening to the various commencement speeches about what it means to be a Jumbo and how elephants always remember places they’ve been, my mom asked me whether Tufts feels like “my school” now, or whether I feel a stronger connection to my undergrad alma mater. Looking around the green, I realized I don’t feel a very strong connection to Tufts University as a whole, although I’m proud to have been a part of it. What I do feel is a strong connection to the individual pieces of Tufts that made up my experience.

I feel that Tufts Museum Studies Program and the History Department are “my school.” I feel a connection to the Education and Art History departments, too, because of my close working relationships with the faculty and students there. I feel that Tisch is “my” library, and East is “my” academic building. These are the institutions, and pieces of institutions, I feel faithful to, and I will have fond memories of. So yes, Tufts is my school, even though as a grad student and a commuter with a day job, it took me almost two years to figure out what Dewick is,* and I never figured out where it is. I think that ten years from now if someone asks me “did you go to Tufts?” I’ll say, “not just Tufts — Tufts Museum Studies.”

It’s a very exciting time in my life, because I am also in a job transition; soon I will be starting a job at the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of History and Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital. I absolutely have my Tufts education to thank for helping me become qualified for this new stage in my career. A good professional program isn’t just about helping students launch their careers, it’s really about preparing them to be good at their jobs, and I am both hopeful and confident that Tufts has done that for me.

From September 2013 through March 2015, I wrote a monthly-ish column for this blog called “The Wider World,” which discussed ways that we as students could explore the relationship between museums and their wider communities, even while we were in our school bubble. Now I’m leaving the bubble, and I plan to continue to reflect on this relationship.  I hope that you will join me.

I’m pleased to announce that two museum studies students will be taking over the blog from me, Colleen Sutherland and Jess Camhi. Even if you don’t already know them, you may have seen their exhibits in the Koppelman Gallery as part of “Focus: Experiments in Photographic Interpretation” this past month. I am excited to be passing the baton into their capable hands.


Over and out (on this channel),



*Dewick is a dining hall.

Weekly jobs round-ups will be back in 2015

Weekly jobs round-ups will return after the New Year. If you need your job postings fix before then (I completely understand — I’ve been there) here are some museums job boards you can check out:

HireCulture – Jobs in the Humanities in Massachusetts

HistPres – Unique Historic Preservation Jobs

Museum Employment Resource Center

Job HQ – American Association of Museums

American Association of State and Local History Career Center

New England Museum Association Jobs

The Tufts Museum Studies blog is seeking new contributors!

The Tufts Museum Studies blog is always open to new contributors, but as the new school year rolls around, we are actively recruiting. The blog is authored and managed by current students — alumni and experienced museum professionals are welcome to contribute guest posts.

Students, whether you are brand-new to Tufts this Fall or you’ve  been around for a while, consider writing a stand-alone blog post or a column. Columns can be weekly, monthly, you name it. You can work with others or on your own. If you prefer to create photo collages or some other media rather than writing, we’re open to that, too!

Feel free to browse the archives for inspiration. Here are some topics that have been covered on the blog in the past, but aren’t being covered on a regular basis now. You are welcome to pick up one of these and make it the theme of your own column or blog post, or start from scratch!

  • Museums in the News
  • Book reviews and recommendations
  • The future of museums
  • Interviews with museum professionals
  • Museum reviews
  • Science Museums — we haven’t had a column on history museums, art museums, or children’s museums before, but it would be welcome, too
If you are interested or have questions, contact Tegan at tufts.museum.blog@gmail.com or comment on this post.