New Arts and Cultural Management and Museum Studies Director Selected

Kiersten F. “KF” Latham has been selected as the new Director of the Arts and Cultural Management and Museum Studies program for a term of five years, beginning on August 1, 2019. She also will serve as Associate Professor of Arts and Cultural Management. 

Latham comes to MSU from Kent State University where she was an Associate Professor in the School of Information (iSchool). She developed and taught Kent State’s Museum Studies specialization and ran the experimental space, MuseLab, located in the iSchool. 

For more than 30 years, she has worked for and with museums in various capacities as a director, educator, researcher, collections manager, curator, volunteer, consultant, and faculty. 

"Coming to MSU feels like coming home. Even though I didn’t attend school here, I grew up in Michigan and 10 years ago taught MSU museum studies part-time," Latham said. "I am so looking forward to joining the community and shaping an already fantastic program into a finer jewel than it already is. I am eager to meet everyone — students, faculty, staff and our arts and cultural community — and see where we can take the program next."

I am so looking forward to joining the community and shaping an already fantastic program into a finer jewel than it already is. I am eager to meet everyone — students, faculty, staff and our arts and cultural community — and see where we can take the program next.

Latham received her Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from Emporia State University, M.A. in Museum Studies from the University of Kansas, and B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan. Her research interests focus on the human relationship with documents, especially museum objects, particularly with respect to emotion, perception, sensation, and spirituality. She also examines the conceptual foundations of museums as knowledge systems and the potential for museums to be sites of human flourishing. In 2017, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Zadar, Croatia, where she taught Current Issues in Documentation Studies to graduate students. 

“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Latham as the new Director of the Arts and Cultural Management and Museum Studies program,” said Christopher P. Long, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters. “She brings with her a vast amount of experience in both higher ed and in working with a variety of museums. I look forward to working with her as we continue to build upon the Arts and Cultural Management and Museum Studies program.”

As the Director of the Arts and Cultural Management and Museum Studies program, Latham will shape the curriculum of the program, growing its online and hybrid course and program offerings, and deepening its ties to local, regional, and national arts communities. She will incorporate multicultural perspectives into teaching for 21st-century leadership and will serve as the lead liaison between the Arts & Cultural Management and Museum Studies program and other units on campus, including, but not limited to, the MSU and College of Arts & Letters entrepreneurial initiatives, Broad Art Museum, Eli Broad College of Business, Wharton Center for Performing Arts, and the MSU Museum.