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Shopping Around

Is the Course Catalog looking fatter than usual? The Crimson has done your work for you: Your guide to the 11 coolest classes offered this semester.

Edwards, from Harvard's Center for the Study of World Religions, who helped develop the course.

According to Edwards, religion plays an increasing role in museum exhibits. The course will deal with all aspects of religious museums, from the design of exhibits and buildings to the specialized care of religious artifacts to battles over cultural property rights.

The course is being offered in collaboration with the School of Design, the School of Education, and the Divinity School in the hope of drawing students from different fields.

"It's intended as an interdisciplinary course," Edwards says.

One of the most interesting aspects of the course will be a conference of museum directors next week exploring how religious issues have shaped current museum policy and how museums present religious content.

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Museum directors from around the world will attend, including directors from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., the Louvre in Paris, as well as museums in Japan and New Zealand.

"Two weeks into the course, students will hear from museum directors from around the world," Edwards says. "It's an utterly unique opportunity."

Cabot Director of the Harvard University Art Museums James B. Cuno says the conference offers a chance to learn a great deal towards understanding and improving museums.

"It is rare that museum directors gather to talk about the meanings of works of art and how we might recover or enhance those meanings through exhibition design and installation," Cuno says.

In addition to a colloquium series of scholars and museum professionals, museum directors and curators will give lectures occasionally throughout the spring and will help review project proposals made by students. Some of the proposals for exhibits crafted in the course may become actual exhibits in Harvard's museum system.

--Imtiyaz H. Delawala

Winning the War for Independance

Students with eclectic taste in movies and who are well versed in the staples of "Indy" films should think again, says Senior Lecturer Bruce Jenkins, teacher for Visual and Environmental Studies 158br: "A History of American Independent Film."

"Many students think independent film began with Quentin Tarrantino, who we're not even dealing with in the course," Jenkins says.

"The course stretches back to the era of silent film and takes a systematic look at the variety of forms by which American film makers have challenged mainstream cinema," Jenkins says, who specializes particularly in "films by people who have interests in other arts."

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