Juilee Decker Headshot

Juilee Decker

Professor

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

585-475-4206
Office Hours
Spring 2023 in person office hours: Tuesday 1 pm 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 public art. 

Dr. Decker is an author, scholar, facilitator, and collaborator in the academy as well as in cultural institutions and communities. Since 2008, she has served as editor of Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals, a peer-reviewed journal published by SAGE. In 2015, she edited the four-volume series Innovative Approaches for Museums which brought together research and practices in the areas of engagement, access, technology, collections care and stewardship, as well as fundraising and strategic planning. In 2017, she revised  Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums, a cornerstone publication in museum studies. Her 4th edition of the book is forthcoming in 2023. Her edited volume Fallen Monuments and Contested Memorials is due out from Routledge in 2023.

Beyond the work described above, Dr. Decker's research excavates histories and functions of museums and memorials as part of the process of understanding and critiquing constructions of knowledge and public memory in the U.S. Her monograph Enid Yandell: Kentucky's Pioneer Sculptor was published by the University Press of Kentucky in 2019. She is currently working on two projects related to monuments, memorials, and memory—which is also an area of her teaching (HIST 322, offered in the spring).

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. 

Dr. Decker has served on the Board of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House and is a juror for the Education Committee of the American Alliance of Museums. She 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.

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. 
 

Select Scholarship

Published Conference Proceedings
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.
Journal Editor
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.
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.
Invited Keynote/Presentation
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.
Shows/Exhibits/Installations
], [. 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.
Peer Reviewed/Juried Poster Presentation or Conference Paper
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..
Book Chapter
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.
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.
Full Length Book
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.
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, 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; deaccessioning 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 semester, 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 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 cultural heritage and the way the term has evolved over time to encompass many forms of practice. With a global outlook, the course explores the various forms that cultural heritage takes and considers the issues that are raised. 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-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-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 1, 2023

    college student posing in front of a wall of National Geographic magazine covers.

    Finding a future profession

    Fourth-year student Anna Pasquantonio has always loved National Geographic and has fond memories of collecting animal trading cards from the National Geographic Kids magazine. Pasquantonio’s summer 2022 internship experience at the organization’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., helped turn a life-long interest into a possible career.

  • September 27, 2022

    Presentation at conference

    CHIPR Conference Held at RIT

    The CHIPR conference, standing for cultural heritage imaging, preservation, and research, was held on the RIT campus on August 15, 2022. It was a free learning opportunity open to anyone in the region based at museums, libraries, archives, and historical societies interested in preservation, access, and research.

Featured Work