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Richard Toon

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Research Professor and Co-Director, Center for Archaeology and Society
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2402
Biography

Richard Toon is Associate Research Professor at the School for Human Evolution and Social Change (SHESC) where he directs the museum studies program, co-directs the Center for Archaeology and Society, and directs the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve and the Innovation Gallery. Before coming to SHESC he was Associate Director of Research at Morrison Institute for Public Policy.  Before joining the Morrison Institute, Richard was the Education and Research Director at the Arizona Science Center, responsible for educational programming and services at the museum. Prior to that he was the Center’s Research Scientist, where he developed research on visitor behavior and attitudes, exhibit development, and informal learning. He also consulted to museums and research projects in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Prior to moving to Arizona, he was the principal of a consulting firm to public and social agencies, primarily in New York City, in the areas of child health, juvenile justice, drug treatment programs, community-based family services, and child poverty. Richard also worked as a researcher for the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services and was Director of Operations Analysis and Management Reporting for New York City Department of Juvenile Justice.

Richard has a Ph.D. in Museum Studies from Leicester University, U.K. He also holds a M.A. in Religious Studies and a B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Leeds University, U.K.

Research Interests

As co-director of the Center for Archaeology and Society my research focuses on using museum exhibitions to link past and present by engaging ancient cultures and contemporary issues, most especially in the areas of cultural identity, indigenous peoples, immigration, the challenges of life in arid climates, and social and economic systems. In addition to exhibits, I maintain active research agendas in devising methods for visitor studies evaluation and providing theoretically informed “readings” of cultural heritage museum practices (such as collecting) and the narratives underlying museum exhibitions. 

Publications
  • Eiko and Koma. Desert Sightings. (2014).
  • Staff of Deer Valley Rock Art Center. Native Now. (2014).
  • Richard Toon & Ashlan H. Falletta-Cowden. Arizona SciTech Festival 2012 Evaluation Summary. (2012).
  • Toon, R & Stone, L. Seeing through Walls: Road Trips Through Art and Memory of Industrial Landscapes. Inta/AR Journal (Interventions and Adaptive Reuse) (2011).
  • Toon, R. Relearning Learning in Museums. MAA Newsletter (2011).
  • Toon, R. To Keep Them Coming: Audience Development in an Age of Competing Attractions and Changing Community. 98th Arizona Town Hall: Arts and Culture (2011).
Research Activity
  • Toon,Richard*. Museum Networks: The Distribution of the US National Museum's Anthropological Collections. WENNER-GREN FDN(1/1/2012 - 5/31/2013).
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 579Critical Issues/Museum Studies
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 591Seminar
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ESS 514Urban and Environmental Health
ASB 584Internship
ASB 592Research
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 574Exhibit Design and Development
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 191First-Year Seminar
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 591Seminar
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Summer 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 584Internship
ASB 592Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 500Research Methods
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 579Critical Issues/Museum Studies
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 591Seminar
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Summer 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 584Internship
ASB 592Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 573Museum Administration
HST 573Museum Administration
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 591Seminar
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 497Honors Colloquium
ASB 574Exhibit Design and Development
ASB 579Critical Issues/Museum Studies
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 591Seminar
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Summer 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 584Internship
ASB 799Dissertation
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 500Research Methods
ASB 574Exhibit Design and Development
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 579Critical Issues/Museum Studies
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 591Seminar
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Summer 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 584Internship
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 579Critical Issues/Museum Studies
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 591Seminar
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Presentations
  • Exhibit team at SHESC. Teotichaucan + ASU: Archaeology in Action. Exhibition at Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve (Jul 2104).
  • Exhibit team at SHESC. City Life: Experiencing the World of Teotihuacan. Exhibit at Anthropology Museum/Innovation Gallery 2013-14 (May 2014).
  • Richard Toon. A Critical Eye on Museum Studies. Western Museums Association annual conference, Salt Lake City, UT (May 2014).
  • Michelaki, K. and Richart Toon. "Until they grow legs and start running around ..." exploring resistance to material agency in archaeology and museum studies. Faculty Seminar Series, Institute for Humanities Research (Jan 2014).
  • Richard Toon. ‘Powerful Voices of Place’: Leveraging the Power of Place to Offset Limited Development Resources. Western Museums Association annual conference, Salt Lake City, UT (Oct 2013).
  • SHESC. City Life: Experiencing the World of Teotihuacan. Fall exhibit at Anthropology Museum (Oct 2013).
  • SHESC Exhibits Design Team. Looking for the Future in the Past: Archaeology's Long-Term View. Spring exhibit at Anthropology Museum and Fall at Deer Valley Rock Art Center (Oct 2013).
  • SHESC Exhibit Design Team. Digging Arizona. Spring exhibit Museum of Anthropology, SHESC (Sep 2012).
  • Richard Toon. A Basic Guide to Exhibition Evaluation and Visitor Studies. Museum Association of Arizona Annual Conference 2012 (May 2012).
  • SHESC Exhibit Design Team. Choosing the Good. Spring exhibit Museum of Anthropology, SHESC (May 2012).
  • SHESC Exhibit Design Team. Choosing the Good. Spring exhibition at Museum of Anthropology (May 2012).
  • SHESC Exhibit Design Team. Becoming Human: 30 Years of Research and Discovery. Fall exhibit at Museum of Anthropology (Sep 2011).
  • Knox, G., Toon. R., Van Der Leeuw, S., Alwash, A., and Al Ani, J. Art’s Role in Resilience Science and other Innovations in Thinking. 54th Venice Biennial International Art Exhibition (Jun 2011).
  • Gregory Sale. It's Not Just Black and White. Social Studies studio and exhibition at ASU Art Museum (May 2011).
  • SHESC Exhibit Design Team. Choosing the Future With Water. Spring exhibition at Museum of Anthropology (May 2011).
  • Richard Toon, Gordon Knox, Adriene Jenik. Thinking about rethinking the museum. Rethinking the museum series at the ASU Art Museum (Feb 2011).
  • Richard Toon, Gordon Knox, Gregory Sale. Thinking about rethinking the museum. Rethinking the museum series at the ASU Art Museum (Feb 2011).
  • Richard Toon. Creating learning environments in the 21st century museum. Central Arizona Museum Association special event (Feb 2011).
  • Toon, R. Challenges to Creating Learning Environments in the 21st Century Museum. Central Arizona Museum Association meeting (Feb 2011).
  • Richard Toon. Museums and popular culture. Public History Program brown-bag lunch (Nov 2010).
  • Richard Toon. Becoming the kind of arts organization your participants deserve. South West Arts Conference, Chandler, Arizona (Jul 2010).
Service
  • Museum Association of Arizona, Conference Committee, Consultant (2014 - Present)
  • SHESC Center for Archaeology and Society, Co-director (2014 - Present)
  • Museum Association of Arizona, Conference Committee, Consultant (2013 - Present)
  • Museum Association of Arizona, Conference Committee, Consultant (2012 - Present)
  • Museums Committee, Co-chair (2012 - Present)
  • SHESC Graduate Committee, Committee member (2012 - Present)
  • Museum Association of Arizona, Consultant (2011 - Present)
  • Museum Association of Arizona, Consultant (2010 - Present)
  • Purple Ribbon Council, Advisory Committee (2010 - Present)
  • SHESC Graduate Committee, Committee member (2010 - Present)
  • SHESC Graduate Committee, Committee member (2010 - Present)
  • Visitor Studies Association, Panel convener (2010 - Present)
  • SHESC Southwest Archaeology Faculty hiring committee, Committee member (2014 - 2015)
  • Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture, Economic Impact Subcommittee, Committee member (2012 - 2012)