Juilee Decker Headshot

Juilee Decker

Professor

Department of History
College of Liberal Arts
Program Director- Museum Studies

585-475-4206
Office Hours
Spring 2024 in-person office hours: Tuesday 11 am and Friday mornings. Please use https://calendly.com/jdgsh to schedule.
Office Location

Juilee Decker

Professor

Department of History
College of Liberal Arts
Program Director- Museum Studies

Education

BA, Wittenberg University; MA, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign; Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

Bio

Dr. Juilee Decker (she/her) is a faculty member in the Department of  History and Director of the Museum Studies program in the College of Liberal Arts. 

Trained as an art historian, Dr. Decker's research and scholarship are at the intersection of museum studies, public history, and technology. 

Dr. Decker is an author, scholar, facilitator, and collaborator in the academy as well as in cultural institutions and communities. At RIT, Dr. Decker is co-PI with Dr. David Messinger (Imaging Science, RIT) on an National Endowment for the Humanities PR-268783-20 (2020-2023) that has created, tested, and iterated a low-cost spectral imaging system and software to recover obscured and illegible text on historical documents. This multi-year, interdisciplinary project enhances the work of library, archive, and museum professionals and is only one of the many experiential learning opportunities undertaken by RIT museum studies students under the guidance of faculty from RIT. She also co-directs the Cultural Heritage Imaging Lab. To visit the lab, please email Dr. Decker, jdgsh@rit.edu. To learn more about this initiative, see https://linktr.ee/mishasystem.

Publications include: 

Dr. Decker has curated/co-curated numerous exhibitions focusing on art, material culture, and public history and has served as a consultant to public art projects and programs in the U.S. The exhibition Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts & Activism (co-curated with Hinda Mandell) debuted in Rochester in June 2019 and traveled to venues in New York, Ohio, and Virginia through 2020. She curated Illuminating the Medieval and the Modern: A Brief History of Cultural Heritage Imaging at RIT, with students in the Cultural Heritage Imaging Lab. The show was on view in the Fall 2023.

Dr. Decker earned her Ph.D. in 2003 from the joint program in Art History and Museum Studies at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Prior to joining the faculty of RIT in 2014, Dr. Decker taught at Georgetown College.


 

Select Scholarship

Book Chapter
Decker, Juilee. "The Disparity Between Us": Rochester’s Frederick Douglass Memorial and its Inscription on the 21st-Century Landscape." Fallen Monuments and Contested Memorials. Ed. Juilee Decker. London, England: Routledge, 2023. 146-162. Print.
Decker, Juilee, et al. "Bridging Past and Present: Creating and Deploying a Historical Character to Engage Audiences Through AR and VR." Emerging Technologies and the Digital Transformation of Museums and Heritage Sites. Ed. Maria Shehade and Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert. Nicosia, Cyprus: Springer, 2021. 139-155. Web.
Decker, Juilee. "No More ‘Dusty Archive Kitten Deaths’: Discoverability, Incidental Learning, and Digital Humanities." Teaching with Digital Humanities. Ed. Christopher J. Young, et al. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2020. 232-240. Print.
Decker, Juilee. "Enid Yandell (1869–1934): Kentucky’s Frontier Sculptor and ‘Bachelor Maid’." Kentucky Women: Their Lives and Times. Ed. Melissa A. McEuen and Thomas H. Appleton. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2015. 196-218. Print.
Full Length Book
Decker, Juilee. Fallen Monuments and Contested Memorials. 1st ed. London, England: Routledge, 2023. Print.
Decker, Juilee. Enid Yandell Kentucky's Pioneer Sculptor. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2019. Print.
Decker, Juilee and Hinda Mandell. Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts & Activism. Rochester, NY: RIT Press, 2019. Print.
Alexander, Edward P., Mary Alexander, and Juilee Decker. Museums in Motion An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums. 3rd ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017. Print.
Decker, Juilee. Technology & Digital Initiatives: Innovative Approaches for Museums. 1st ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. Print.
Decker, Juilee. Engagement and Access: Innovative Approaches for Museums. 1st ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. Print.
Decker, Juilee. Collections Care and Stewardship: Innovative Approaches for Museums. 1st ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. Print.
Decker, Juilee. Fundraising & Strategic Planning: Innovative Approaches for Museums. 1st ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. Print.
Journal Editor
Decker, Juilee, ed. Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, 2022. Web.
Decker, Juilee, ed. Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2022. Web.
Decker, Juilee, ed. Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2021. Web.
Decker, Juilee, ed. Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2020. Web.
Decker, Juilee, ed. Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2019. Web.
Juilee, Decker,, ed. Collections: A Journal for Archives and Museum Professionals. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018. Print.
Decker, Juilee, ed. Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017. Print.
Decker, Juilee, ed. Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. Print.
Decker, Juilee, ed. Collections: A Journal for Museum & Archives Professionals. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. Print.
Decker, Juilee, ed. Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2014. Print.
Published Conference Proceedings
Decker, Juilee and David W. Messinger. "Under the Hood: Accessible Multispectral Image Processing Software for Historical Document Discovery." Proceedings of the America Institute for Conservation. Ed. JAIC. Washington, DC: n.p., Print.
Messinger, David W. and Juilee Decker. "A low-barrier-to-entry multispectral imaging system for the study of historical artifacts." Proceedings of the Proceedings Volume PC12519, Algorithms, Technologies, and Applications for Multispectral and Hyperspectral Imaging XXIX. Ed. SPIE. Orlando, FL: SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing, 2023. Web.
Arnold, Etta, et al. "Multispectral Imaging for Historical Artifacts: A Case Study Using an 8th-Century Biblical Scroll." Proceedings of the EUROGRAPHICS Workshop on Graphics and Cultural Heritage. Ed. R. Pintus and F. Ponchio. Delft, Netherlands: Eurographics Digital Library, 2022. Web.
Buffalin, Michael, et al. "Cultivating Community, Convening, and Collaboration through RIT’s Makerspace." Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces. Ed. ISAM. Atlanta, GA: ISAM, 2022. Web.
Decker, Juilee, et al. "Stitching Together Past and Present: Our Experiences with Costumed Interpretation and Virtual Reality." Proceedings of the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums. Ed. Donna Braden. Dearborn, MI: The Henry Ford, 2021. Print.
Shitut, Kunal, et al. "Triggering the Past: Cultural Heritage Interpretation Using Augmented and Virtual Reality at a Living History Museum." Proceedings of the EUROGRAPHICS Workshop on Graphics and Cultural Heritage. Ed. A. Chalmers and V. Hulusic. Bournemouth, England: Springer, 2021. Web.
Geigel, Joe, Yunn-Shan Ma, and Juilee Decker. "AR Fantasia: An Augmented Reality Musical Experience." Proceedings of the Frameless 2021. Ed. Frameless Publications Committee. Rochester, NY: RIT Scholar Works, 2021. Web.
Decker, Juilee, et al. "Virtual Historic Docent for a Living History Museum." Proceedings of the Frameless Symposium 2019. Ed. Juilee Decker and David Halbstein. Rochester, NY: RIT Scholarworks, 2019. Web.
Peer Reviewed/Juried Poster Presentation or Conference Paper
Decker, Juilee, David W. Messinger, and James Falotico. "Build, Select, Reshuffle: Uncovering Distinct Features of Cultural Heritage Objects with Multispectral Imaging." Proceedings of the Archiving 2023. Ed. Society for Imaging Science and Technology. Springfield, VA: https://library.imaging.org/archiving/articles/20/1/38.
Hatch, Landyn, et al. "Reimagining Donor Relations, Special Collections Outreach, and Critical Thinking." Proceedings of the American Library Association. Ed. ALA/RBMS. Bloomington, IN: Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS).
Decker, Juilee and Roger Easton, Jr. "NEH Funding Share Session: Demo by RIT of Low-Cost Spectral Imaging System Created for Discoverability and Accessibility of Historical Documents." Proceedings of the Museum Association of New York Annual Conference. Ed. MANY. Corning, NY: MANY.
Decker, Juilee. "Preparing Students to Address Emerging Issues of the Future ." Proceedings of the CIEL Fall Conference. Ed. Noah Coburn. Tuscaloosa, AL: CIEL.
Decker, Juilee. "Memorials and Museum Practices." Proceedings of the Museums and Race Conference. Ed. Jackie Peterson. virtual, virtual: n.p..
Juilee, Decker,. "Inclusive Museum Practices (House of Mercy Project)." Proceedings of the 2018 Engaged Scholarship & Teaching Faculty Symposium. Ed. NONE. Rochester, NY: n.p..
Shows/Exhibits/Installations
Various, . Illuminating the Medieval and the Modern through Cultural Heritage Imaging: A Brief History of Innovation and Collaboration at RIT. 30 Sep. 2023. University Gallery, Rochester. Exhibit.
], [. Not Like Any OTHR Design for Another Time. 21 Feb. 2022. RIT University Gallery, Rochester. Exhibit.
], . Clarissa Uprooted: Unearthing Stories of Our Village (1940s-early 1970s). 3 Jun. 2022. RIT City Art Space, Rochester. Exhibit.
Various, . Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism. 14 Feb. 2020. Bevier Gallery, Rochester. Exhibit.
Various, . Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism. 14 Aug. 2020. Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House, Alexandria, VA. Exhibit.
Various, . Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism. 1 Oct. 2020. Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY. Exhibit.
Various, . Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism. Director. Juilee Decker. 1 Aug. 2019. Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County, Rochester. Exhibit.
Various, . Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism. Director. Juilee Decker. 29 Nov. 2019. The Sculpture Center, Cleveland, OH. Exhibit.
Studies, RIT Archives & Museum. The Stories They Tell 6. 3 Oct. 2019. Wallace Library, RIT, Rochester. Exhibit.
Studies, RIT Archives & Museum. The Stories They Tell 5. 3 Oct. 2018. Wallace Library, RIT, Rochester, NY. Exhibit.
contributors, Multiple authors and. Because of Women Like Her: Winning the Vote in New York State. 2 Jun. 2017. Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County, Rochester. Exhibit.
Invited Keynote/Presentation
Decker, Juilee and David W. Messinger. "Illuminating Manuscripts: Democratizing Access to Collections through Multispectral Imaging Technology." Peter Graham Scholarly Commons. Syracuse University. Syracuse, NY. 14 Apr. 2023. Lecture.
Decker, Juilee. "A Low-Barrier-to-Entry Multispectral Imaging System for the Study of Historical Artifacts." Buffalo State University Garman Art Conservation Department. SUNY Buffalo. Buffalo, NY. 23 Oct. 2023. Guest Lecture.
Decker, Juilee. "Re-Inscribing Women: Telling the Stories of Women & Museums, Archives, and Collecting Institutions in the 21st-Century." “Women and Collections” Conference. University of Leiden. Leiden, Netherlands. 18 Mar. 2022. Conference Presentation.
Decker, Juilee and Barbara Wood. "Metrics, Value, and Recognition: Convening Community through Publication." Bridging Research Praxes Across Pluralities of Knowledge. Linkoping University. Linkoping, Sweden. 26 Apr. 2022. Conference Presentation.
Decker, Juilee. "Casting a Legacy: Enid Yandell & Watch Hill’s Chief Ninigret." The Watch Hill Conservancy. The Watch Hill Conservancy. Watch Hill, RI. 21 Aug. 2020. Lecture.
Decker, Juilee. "From Aspiration to Activism: Fiber Arts at Woodlawn from Nelly Custis to Crafting Democracy." Exhibition Closing "Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts & Activism". Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey. Alexandria, VA. 13 Sep. 2020. Keynote Speech.
Decker, Juilee, et al. "Blurring Boundaries and Dissolving Silos: Developing an XR Museum Project in Collaboration." Educators in VR. Educators in VR. virtual, virtual. 20 Oct. 2020. Lecture.
Decker, Juilee. "Enid Yandell: Kentucky’s Pioneer Sculptor." Book Launch. Filson Historical Society. Louisville, KY. 3 Oct. 2019. Lecture.
Decker, Juilee. "The Life and Work of Kentucky’s Pioneer Sculptor, Enid Yandell." Veritas Society. Bellarmine University. Louisville, KY. 4 Oct. 2019. Keynote Speech.
Decker, Juilee. "An almost breathing likeness: Enid Yandell’s Bronze Bust of J. J. Rucker." Georgetown College Visiting Scholar. Georgetown College. Georgetown, KY. 15 Nov. 2019. Lecture.
Decker, Juilee. "Women’s Work: The Legacy Enid Yandell, Kentucky’s Pioneer Sculptor." Speed Art Museum Public Lecture. Speed Art Museum. Louisville, KY. 17 Nov. 2019. Keynote Speech.
Decker, Juilee. "Re-Presenting the Civil War: Monuments and Public Memory in the Age of #BlackLivesMatter." The Legacy of the Civil War. Virginia Commonwealth University. Richmond, VA. 30 Jun. 2016. Lecture.
Decker, Juilee. "Re-Presenting the Civil War: Monuments and Public Memory in the Age of #BlackLivesMatter." The Legacy of the Civil War. Virginia Commonwealth University. Richmond, VA. 14 Jul. 2016. Guest Lecture.
Invited Article/Publication
Decker, Juilee. "Letting Go: A History of Save Outdoor Sculpture! as a National Crowdsourcing Effort to Document and Preserve Outdoor Sculpture." A History of Heritage Preservation (University of Delaware). (2022). Web.
Decker, Juilee. "How Enid Yandell ‘Leaned In’ and Became a Flagbearer for Occupational Identity and Woman Suffrage." Kentucky Humanities. (2020). Print.
Decker, Juilee and Cheryl Jiménez Frei. "Adapting and Finding Meaning in Uncertain Times: Teaching the Journal of the Plague Year Archive." History@Work blog (National Council on Public History). (2020). Web.
Decker, Juilee. "Tangible and Intangible Heritage in the Age of #TakeItDown." Landmarks. (2019). Print.
Decker, Juilee. "Theory & Praxis: Museum Studies in the 21st Century." Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. (2017). Web.
Decker, Juilee. "Museums in Motion Today." History News. (2017). Print.
Journal Paper
Decker, Juilee, et al. "Learning by Doing: Experiential, Interdisciplinary, and Incidental Learning Workflows for AR/VR Museum Experiences." Journal of Interactive Teaching and Pedagogy 17. Focus Issue: Extended Reality (XR) Pedagogies & Applications: Interactive & Immersive Educational Technologies (2020): URL. Web.
Decker, Juilee. "Beyond Cul-de-Sac Pedagogy: Museum Studies as a Landscape of Practice." Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy 26. 2 (2016): 176-193. Print.
Published Review
Decker, Juilee. "Cities, Museums, and Soft Power." Rev. of Cities, Museums, and Soft Power, ed. Jonathan Schroeder. Consumption Markets and Culture 23 Sep. 2016: 1-8. Web.

Currently Teaching

FNRT-220
3 Credits
This course examines the history, theory, ideology, and practice of collecting within the institutional context of the museum. It considers the formation of the modern museum, and focusing on the American context, investigates the function and varieties of museums, ranging from natural history, anthropology, science and technology, history, and art. The course explores the history of the museum and its evolution institutionally, ideologically, and experientially. The course also considers the operations of museums from accessioning through deaccessioning, examining museum management, collections management and collections care. The course also explores museum governance and the professional ethics and legal constraints that affect museum professionals. The course examines how a museum carries out its mission of public education through its collections and exhibitions, as well as through its educational programs and community outreach and visitor studies. Current issues in the museum world are also considered, including: the museum's educational function versus its entertainment function; the problems of staying solvent in an era of diminishing governmental and corporate subsidies; de-accessioning collections to support the museum operations; issues of art theft and repatriation (ranging from colonial era and Nazi era plunder, the disposition of human remains and sacred objects, and illicit trafficking); the evolving responsibilities of the museum to its public and the cultural heritage; and the rise of the virtual museum. Throughout the quarter, the course examines museums and their practices through the perspectives of colonialism, nationalism, class, race, age, gender, and ethnicity. The course includes field trips to local museums and collections throughout the term.
HIST-322
3 Credits
Monuments are physical objects that were constructed to help us remember the past, but a deeper analysis reveals that the relationship between monuments and the memories they embody is complex and changes over time. We will tackle the process of memorializing, the monuments that result, and seek greater insight into the arguments these artifacts make about the past, the present, and our place in the world.
MUSE-220
3 Credits
This course examines the history, theory, and practice of museums by situating them as social institutions emerging within their broader historical and cultural contexts, from their origins in the mouseion of the classical era and Renaissance cabinets of curiosities to the modern era’s World’s Fairs and museums of today. The evolution and range of museum functions are addressed. Building on these foundations, the following types of museums and institutions are explored: art and design, natural history, anthropology, science, and history museums, as well as historic houses and sites, botanical gardens, and zoos. In studying the histories and functions of museums through the lenses of social institutions, the course highlights the evolution of museums institutionally, ideologically, and experientially. The course considers the operations of museums, governance, and the professional ethics and legal constraints that affect museum professionals; examines museums and their practices through the perspectives of colonialism and de-colonialization, nationalism, class, gender, ethnicity, anti-racism, and community; and includes field trips to local institutions and on-campus site visits throughout the semester.
MUSE-226
3 Credits
Cultural heritage is a fluid term that applies broadly to the creation, protection, and preservation of material objects and intangible practices for future generations. This course examines the concepts associated with tangible, intangible, and natural cultural heritage with a global outlook. Through readings, discussion, and projects, the course explores the various forms that cultural heritage takes and frames them in terms of digital creation, consumption, and preservation. Course content may be site-specific.
MUSE-249
1 - 3 Credits
Topics courses offer the opportunity to build knowledge specific to events, issues, and opportunities unique to archives, museums, and collecting institutions. Topics and methods vary from term to term, though each offering features an introduction to a concept, methodology, institution, or other subfield of study within museum studies or public history. Students develop theoretical and experiential knowledge of the topic under investigation while fostering opportunities to respond to recent events or to partner with local organizations and institutions. Students also create deliverables appropriate to the experience. The topic will be announced prior to the course offering. The course may be repeated for credit since topics will normally vary from semester to semester.
MUSE-340
3 Credits
This course introduces students to the role of archives in the construction of a society’s cultural heritage and historical identity. Archives are repositories of a culture’s original documents, both paper and electronic, and they function as a site for the construction, preservation, and dissemination of historical memory, as a source for social responsibility, and as a tool for the understanding of the cultural, social, and political forces that influence events. The course will examine the history of archives, the theory and practice that guide the work of archivists, and examine the basic components of an archival program: including acquisition and appraisal, arrangement and description, preservation and legal and ethical issues related to access to archival records. The class will also cover the transformation of the profession in the digital age, including digital preservation, the work of archival appraisal and collection building in an age of digital proliferation, and archival collection management systems.
MUSE-341
3 Credits
This course introduces students to the educational mission of the museum and to the museum’s role in educating citizens for participation in a democratic, pluralistic society. As sites of informal learning, museums have an educational impact on our lives beyond our formal schooling. The course focuses on a wide range of educational activities within museums that address visitors of all ages as individuals and as members of a democratic society, and helps to foster in them a sense of community, civic responsibility, tolerance for multiple viewpoints, and lifelong love of learning. The course examines the institutional shift from a fixed, scholarly approach to exhibiting collections to one that embraces the concept of interpretation, where visitors are encouraged to engage in a variety of experiences, make their own connections with objects and other visitors, and ultimately construct their own meanings.
MUSE-357
3 Credits
This course presents an overview of the administration and management of museums and their collections. The course examines the governance structure of museums, focusing on personnel responsible for their administration, curation and education, and operations, as well as on the mission statement and policies they determine. The course also details the management of collections, including the development of a collections policy, management of that policy, documentation and record keeping, acquisitions, and the creation/management of exhibitions. Finally, the course considers collections care or preventive conservation, looking at both the facility and collections. Throughout the term, legal and ethical issues pertaining to museums and their collections will be emphasized.
MUSE-360
3 Credits
All of us, as museum visitors, have the capacity to engage with collections and to create meanings as a result of such interaction. This course considers the history and theory of visitor engagement at museums, galleries, and sites of cultural heritage tourism; examines the import of technology into this history; and articulates the role of visitors as participants who curate their own experiences. Two key questions will be addressed in this course: 1) How does technology provide a platform for contribution, collaboration, co-creation, and co-opting of experiences among all visitors? and 2) Can technology mediate the best possible experience for visitors? The course has no prerequisite and is open to students of all majors.
MUSE-361
3 Credits
From ancient clay and wax tablets, to scrolls and medieval manuscripts, to printed books and iPads, this class examines the history of books from 2300 BCE to the present. Students study books not only as vehicles for texts, but also as physical artifacts that carry with them important evidence of the cultures that produced and read them. Using the Cary Graphic Arts Collection as their research laboratory, students investigate the evolution of books through hands-on interaction with artifacts both ancient and modern, while also pondering what forms future books might take.
MUSE-489
3 Credits
This class introduces students to the methods of research appropriate for scholarship in the field of Museum Studies. Students will learn how to locate, analyze, assess, critique and conduct research in the field. They will choose the topic of their senior thesis project, develop a clear statement of how that topic will be explored, and construct an annotated bibliography relevant to that topic. This course leads to the development of a proposal for a senior thesis project that is suitable for full implementation in Senior Thesis for museum studies.
MUSE-490
3 Credits
The Senior Thesis in Museum Studies is the final requirement in the degree program. Students will conduct the appropriate research to address the topic they had proposed in Research Methods. They will present their results as a formal written thesis and in an appropriate public forum. The course provides students the opportunity to develop their research and practical skills and to share the results with the department and the college.
MUSE-497
0 Credits
Internship in a field related to Museum Studies (at least 50 hours). Students will apply the accumulated knowledge, theory, and methods of the discipline to problem solving outside of the classroom.

In the News

  • February 27, 2023

    Emma Nastro, left, and Lee Sortore, right, sitting on a bench outside of Liberal Arts Hall.

    Interdisciplinary team heads to Ethics in Engineering Case Competition

    An interdisciplinary pair of RIT students is headed to Bethesda, Md., to participate in the 2023 Lockheed Martin Ethics in Engineering Case Competition. Emma Nastro, a third-year museum studies student, and Lee Sortore, a fifth-year mechanical engineering student, will represent RIT at the competition, which is held Feb. 27 through March 1 at the Lockheed Martin Center for Leadership Excellence. This is the first time an RIT team has competed in this competition.