Course Texts:

  • Parry, Ross (ed.) (2010) Museums in a Digital Age. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Kalay, Yehuda, Thomas Kvan and Janice Affleck, eds. (2008) New Heritage: New Media and Cultural Heritage. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Weekly articles and case studies (see WebCT syllabus for weekly assignment details)  


Participants are expected to demonstrate a critical engagement with the course readings and case studies. Attendance is essential, as is participation in seminar discussions and online contribution via the course website/blog.  All assignments must be submitted on the date listed.

Response Paper (1000 words + media) 15% (Due Week 5)
A response to the use of digital media in a Vancouver/Surrey area museum exhibition that critically reflects on introductory course readings. The paper should be based on personal field notes and documentation, including observation of exhibit visitor interaction with digital media and/or a critical reading of a related virtual exhibit or institutional website. These papers may be posted/archived on the course blog and will be shared and discussed in the seminar.

Seminar Presentation 15%  (to be assigned in class)
The presentation should consist of a summary of the readings that have been assigned for that week, with a focus on identifying and commenting on the theoretical issues that define the week’s topic, and a critique of a digital heritage project/case study (from suggested list or identified by presenter). Presenters will moderate a class discussion based on the themes and issues that they have identified. Presenters should prepare a visual presentation and a set of questions for discussion. Questions and relevant links should be posted on the course blog in advance of the seminar.

Project Proposal (Abstract and Bibliography) 10% (Due Week 8)
A 350-500-word abstract and bibliography that outlines your individual research project for the course. This project will have a written component and a production component (video, web-based, photographic, or other, to be approved in advance). The project should be grounded in one or more elements of the Museum of Vancouver’s ‘Neon Vancouver’ exhibition. The bibliography should include readings from the course and from individual research, but should also include references to online projects and other relevant media.

MOV Neon Mobile App Evaluation 5% (Due: Week 11)
Evaluation of the Museum of Vancouver’s mobile walking tour: The Visible City: Illuminating Vancouver’s Neon. 500 word evaluation and survey.

Final Project + Presentation (approx 2500 words) 45% (Draft W. 12; Final W.13)
Final Projects will build on individual research interests and technical skills, contribute to the realization of alternative representations of Vancouver’s complex visual and social history, and result in a conference-ready paper and presentation. Papers may include a production component (video, web-based, photographic, or other, to be approved in advance), that may developed in reference to the Museum of Vancouver’s virtual exhibit and mobile app The Visible City: Illuminating Vancouver’s Neon, and a written component, which contextualizes the production element and its relationship to the broader MOV exhibition.  The projects will be presented to the Museum of Vancouver on the last day of class.

Class Participation 10%
This mark will be assessed on attendance and weekly preparation of discussion questions and blog posts (weeks 2-13) and in-class discussions.

Schedule and Overview  *(See SFU WebCT for detailed weekly readings)

Week 1: Introduction to the Course

Week 2: Visit to the Museum of Vancouver and introduction to the Neon Vancouer | Ugly Vancouver Exhibit

Week 3: Anthropology Museums and New Media

Week 4: The Object and the Archive

Week 5: Digital Cultural Heritage [*Response Papers Due]

Week 6: Reading Break

Week 7: Virtual Exhibits

Week 8: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality (*Abstract and Bibliography due]

Week 9: Locative Media

Week 10: Mobile Walking Tour Evaluation: ‘The Visible City: Illuminating Vancouver’s Neon’

Week 11: Tangibles in the Museum [*Walking Tour evaluation due]

Week 12: Social Media and the Museum

Week 13: Review of Final Projects & Course Wrap Up

Week 14: Final Presentations at Museum of Vancouver (Final Projects Due)