Pre-professional courses in Museum and Curatorial Heritage Studies offer students a broad introduction to the practice, history, and theoretical reflection of cultural heritage formation and preservation, especially in the area of material culture. Museums and organizations of cultural policy management are the two fields of professional activity that are central to the program. Accordingly, there are courses on museums as laboratories of cultural heritage production, and on strategies of, and issues in, cultural policy management.
The notion of an internationally and cross-culturally “shared heritage” of material culture is the central theme of the entire program. The types of objects and (museum) collections to which this notion relates derive from, and belong to, all realms and ages of human productivity. The academic disciplines studying these objects and collections, such as anthropology, archaeology, history, art history, history of science, and modern media studies, inform the wide palette of heuristic perspectives from which students investigate processes and traditions of cultural heritage formation and preservation. They do so through readings, classroom discussions, short research papers, and visits to professional institutions.
The museums that are being built close to NYUAD’s campus on Saadiyat Island — the Zayed National Museum, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi — and regional organizations of cultural policy and heritage management, such as the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (ADTCA), are important resources and offer opportunities for internships and Capstone projects. Courses and internships are available at NYU New York and at NYU’s global network sites.