LBAS2003 - Archives, museums and citizenship: Relevance, public debate, participation


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Aggregate score
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Reading log 30/100
Term paper 70/100

Course content

The course explores the public sphere and democracy in Norway, and the role of archival institutions and museums as democratic institutions conducive to citizen engagement. This includes an introduction to various theories of democracy.

The digital age, of which archives and museums are a definite part, provide many new possibilities for communication and interaction between individuals, as well as between governments and citizens. With new possibilities, however, come a host of new challenges. In this course we critically examine how the political choice to digitize services in the public sphere has transformed our political and cultural public discourse, and in what ways this affects archives and museums. Some questions posed are: How does the digital information technology transform the political and cultural public sphere? Is digitization necessarily beneficial to individuals and society? How does digitization contribute to creating new possibilities, but also great challenges, for archives and museums in how they fill their role in society?

Archive-related issues are approached with the aim of providing insights into the political, practical, and theoretical aspects of the relationship between archives, society, and the individual. Political goals and visions for a digitized public sphere; digitization as part of work processes in archival institutions; digital systems as tools, process, and product in records management and archive institutions are matters addressed in the required readings and in lectures. An overarching theme is how the changes wrought by digitization has shaped our use of various types of documentation, and our role as engaged citizens.

Apart from studying political documents that legitimize the role of museums in our society today, the working realities of museums are discussed through various outreach projects that exemplify how museums have tried to put political ideals of relevance, dialogue and participation into action. The traditional role of museums as authoritative knowledge institutions is being questioned today, and there is a movement towards museums as places for dialogue and participation, political activism, and open, democratic debate. Theoretical insights, especially from post-colonial theory and new museum ethics, are used to analyze how museums may change with the times.

Learning outcome


The student has knowledge about

  • what the terms public sphere, public discourse and democracy mean
  • the role of archives and museums in society, historically and currently
  • what the term engaged citizen entails, and about how archival institutions and museums may contribute to increasing engagement among citizens
  • how the terms relevance, dialogue and participation can be used in archives and museums
  • digitization as a societal phenomenon
  • how digital information technology can change political and cultural public discourse
  • how digital information technology can change the societal role of archives and museums


The student can

  • account for digitization as a societal phenomenon, as well as digitization as tools and work processes in archival institutions and museums
  • apply relevant literature to account for own assessments and opinions in the field of archives and museums
  • express knowledge from the course content accountably and understandably in writing.
  • give feedback on academic texts

General competence

The student

  • has awareness of how digitization affects society and public
  • has awareness of how the tasks of archives and museums can affect and be affected by society and public discourse
  • can contribute to the planning of digitization processes in archives and museums

Learning methods and activities

A combination of lectures, excursions, group assignments and written assignments. If practice institutions wish to use BA students for e.g. preliminary projects, workshops or trials of various kinds, we will facilitate cooperation.

Compulsory assignments

  • Term paper draft & peer review
  • Improved second draft

Further on evaluation


The exam consists of two assessments:

  • Term paper (70 % of course grade)
  • Reading log (30 % of course grade)

It is possible to appeal a grade given on individual parts of the assessment.

Mandatory activities

  1. First draft and peer review: Write a draft of the assigned term paper for approval by fellow students, plus written reviews on the drafts of to fellow students' term papers.
  2. Second draft: Submitting a second draft for the term paper. Approval by teacher.

Mandatory activities are assessed on a pass-fail basis and must be passed in order for the student to take the course exam.

Course materials

The course reading list will be published on Blackboard at the beginning of term. Minor changes to the list may occur during term.

More on the course

Version: A
Credits:  15.0 SP
Study level: Third-year courses, level III


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Social Sciences
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Teacher Education


Examination arrangement: Aggregate score

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Term paper 70/100





Room Building Number of candidates
Autumn ORD Reading log 30/100





Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Term paper 70/100





Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Reading log 30/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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