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Shifting Societies, Changing Museums

Learn how museums, reflecting our shifting societies, are evolving to embrace new challenges: diversity, inclusivity, sustainability

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CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • PhD
Field of studies
  • Art, Design and Media
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
7 March - 7 June 2024

In a world that constantly evolves, the institutions reflecting and shaping our cultural narratives are expected to evolve as well. This academic year, we invite you to explore the topic of "Shifting Societies, Changing Museums".

The summer school aims to understand how museum have not only embraced modern technological advancements but are also responding to essential societal changes. With the International Council for Museums (ICOM) updating the very definition of "museum" to encompass words such as “diversity", "inclusive", and "sustainability", it is evident that museums are expected to push boundaries to be agents of societal change. The summer school will explore the various ways in which museums are trying to change their working practices, experimenting with new approaches in collecting and exhibiting, and how the self-understandings of curatorial staff have evolved in the recent years. 

Through interactive workshops and thought-provoking lectures and talks with museum professionals, you will gain invaluable insights into how museums are adapting to resonate with the communities they serve. Join us this summer to explore the landscape of shifting societies and changing museums.

Moreover, the summer school consists of 3 online lectures delivered in advance via zoom, followed by a 5-day in-person workshop in Tübingen. 

Main topics addressed

  • Modern museum practices
  • Revised definition
  • Curatorial transformations
  • Community Engagement
  • Future of Museums

Learning outcomes

Students taking the course will develop:

  • Knowledge of modern museum practices: get equipped with knowledge on the approaches museums are adopting in collecting, exhibiting, and engaging with their audiences, emphasizing inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability

  • Insights into curatorial perspectives: grasp how the roles and self-understandings of curatorial staff have transformed in recent years, reflecting the broader shifts in societal values and expectations

  • Practical experience through workshops: through hands-on workshops, participants will acquire practical skills and strategies to implement change in museum settings, ensuring they resonate with the communities they serve


Dates: 7 March - 7 June 2024 Language: English (C1)
Location: Tübingen, Germany ECTS: 6*
Format: Blended Workload: 180 hours

*Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university. 

Physical mobility

The physical mobility part will be running from 3 to 7 June 2024 in Tübingen, Germany .

Moreover, the programm of the physical component merge as follows:

  • Day 1 - Monday, June 3, 2024

- Introductory Session

- Team Building Activities

- Theoretical Input

- Tutorials and Group Work Session

- Guided Tour through Tübingen including the Museum of the University of Tübingen which houses UNESCO world heritage artefacts

  • Day 2 - Tuesday, June 4, 2024

- Visit to the Ludwig Uhland Institute (LUI) Collection

- Group Session: Brainstorming Ideas for a common exhibition in the institute’s exhibition space

- Tour to innovative museums in cities around Tübingen 

  • Day 3 - Wednesday, June 5, 2024

- Guided tour and and workshop at museums in Stuttgart, possibly including the Linden-Museum for Ethnography and the Waldenbuch Museum für Everyday Culture)

  • Day 4 - Thursday, June 6, 2024

- Group Work Session at the LUI

- Finalizing the Exhibition

- Tour of the City Museum Tübingen

  • Day 5 - Friday, June 7, 2024

- Final Adjustments to the Exhibition

- Group Work Presentation

- Wrap-Up Session

Virtual part

The virtual part will be running from 7 March to 23 May 2024.

Moreover, the virtual part of the course will consist of three online lectures/talks (More information will come soon).


This course is open to Bachelor's, Master's and PhD students at CIVIS member universities enrolled in the following fields of study: Museology or/and Heritage Studies or Sociology or History or Archaeology, or any other fields related.

 A level C1 in English is also required. 

NB: Visiting Students - Erasmus Funding Eligibility

To be eligible for your selected CIVIS programme, you must be a fully enrolled student at your CIVIS home university at the time you will be undertaking the programme. Click here to learn more about the eligibility criteria.

This course is also open to students with the same academic profile, who are enrolled at a CIVIS strategic partner university in Africa. Please check here, if you can apply and this particular course is open to applications from your university. Successful applicants will receive an Erasmus+ grant covering travel and subsistence costs during their stay. Applicants should be willing to extend their stay at the host university for 1-3 weeks for additional research and/or training purposes.

Application process

Interested students should apply by filling in the online application form by 7 November 2023. 

Students will be selected and evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • CV (Students should ensure CV showcases their academic background, any past seminars they have attended, and any experience in the museum or cultural fields)
  • Motivation letter (This should be a maximum of 400 words, detailing the reasons for wanting to participate in the summer school)
  • Level of language (According to CEFR)

Moreover, students will be selected taking into consideration the following criteria:

  • Understanding and clarity in explaining motivations to attend the summer school
  • Relevance of past experiences to the summer school's program
  • Compatibility of your study, research, or professional project with the summer school's objectives

Apply here


In order to receive the certificate of attendance and the 6 ECTS credits related to this course, students are required to undertake the following activities:

  • Students will design a small-scale pop-up museum exhibition at the Ludwig Uhland Institute (University of Tübingen) that has a specifically designed space for the exhibitions. This will be based on information collected throughout both the virtual and physical components of the program, as well as a critical review of the exhibitions they visited during the physical segment of the program
  • After the physical part of the program, students will be asked to submit a report

Blended Intensive Programme

This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Thiemeyer is a Professor of Museum Studies at the Ludwig-Uhland-Institut für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft, the Department for Historical and Cultural Anthropology, at the University of Tübingen. From 2003 to 2006, he worked as a curator at HG Merz, an architecture and museum design firm, where he assisted in developing the concepts for the Mercedes-Benz Museum (2006) and the Porsche Museum (2009). From 2006 to 2009, he completed his PhD under Gottfried Korf on the topic of the presentation of WWI and WWII in museums. From 2009 to 2012, he coordinated the museum studies research project, wissen&museum (Knowledge and the Museum). His research and teaching focus on museum and archival research, memorial culture, and cultural theory. His latest books, 'Das Depot als Versprechen – Warum unsere Museen die Lagerräume ihrer Dinge wiederentdecken' ('The Storeroom as Promise – Why Our Museums are Rediscovering Their Objects’ Storage Spaces') and 'Geschichte im Museum: Theorie - Praxis - Berufsfelder' ('History in Museums'), were published in 2018.

Anna Leshchenko, MA, is a research associate at the Ludwig-Uhland-Institut für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft, the Department for Historical and Cultural Anthropology, at the University of Tübingen. She currently serves as the vice-chair of the International Committee for Museology (from 2019 to the present) and is an associate editor for “Curator: the Museum Journal.” From 2009 to 2020, Anna was a lecturer in the Department of Museology at the Russian State University for the Humanities. Her research interests are linked to the topics of museum ethics and decolonization of museum practice and theory.

Marlen Mouliou is an Assistant Professor of Museology at the Faculty of History and Archaeology, at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She is a member of a Cross-Faculty Committee for the Postgraduate Programme in Museum Studies (NKUA) and is responsible for the Public Archaeology activities of the NKUA excavation in Marathon. She also serves as the NKUA Coordinator in CIVIS WP3 on Open Labs (2019-2022). She has been awarded the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Grantee for the academic year 2023-24. Prior to her work at NKUA, she worked for 16 years at the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. Internationally, she has been a member of the jury for the European Museum of the Year Award (2016-2022) and served as Chair of the Jury for two years (2020-2022). She has also served as Vice-Chair of the European Academic Heritage Network (UNIVERSEUM) from 2016 to 2020 and as ICOM-CAMOC’s Secretary and Chair from 2010 to 2016. She is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation (now renamed Foundation V. Papantoniou). Additionally, she is a member of the Editorial Advisory Boards of several academic national and international journals. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the social value of museums, museum history, museum archaeology, city museums policies, and more. In 2020, she developed the online social initiative "The Museum Inside Me." Together with Mark O’Neill and Jette Sandahl, she is co-editor of the book "Revisiting Museums of Influence," published by Routledge in 2021.

Judith Dehail is an Associate Professor of Cultural Mediation of the Arts at the Aix-Marseille Université, France. She is a member of the Laboratoire d’Etudes en Sciences des Arts (LESA). She heads both the Bachelor's and Master's Degree programs in Cultural Mediation at AMU. Her research lies in the field of critical museology and cultural mediation, with a focus on the political dimension of exhibitions and museum mediation as well as the relationship between cultural institutions and their audiences. Her current research project is entitled "REMED – Mediation of Minority Narratives in the Museum."