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Author: Steven Lubar

New essay: Exhibiting Absence

New essay: Exhibiting Absence

I’ve posted to Medium a new essay, on the challenges (and possibilities!) of exhibiting things museums don’t actually have. Sometimes, an exhibition developer wants to call attention to the absence of an object from the collection. (Fred Wilson famously did this in “Mining the Museum,” and museums have called attention to NAGPRA-returned objects, or to stolen objects.) Sometimes, you want to recreate, or even create, objects that have been lost, or those that never existed. Take a look. 

Open Access Articles! or, what happens to old articles

Open Access Articles! or, what happens to old articles

How best to make journal articles accessible? Over the years, I’ve published a few dozen essays, in a range of journals, books, encyclopedias, newsletters, and blogs. A recent discussion with folks from the Brown University Library about the Brown Digital Repository got me thinking about how accessible they were, and how to make them more accessible. And so I spent some time trying to figure out what was on the web, what was open to the public, and what to…

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Teaching Skill

Teaching Skill

In the Fall semester, I taught a new course, a seminar for first-year students: “Skills: From the Medieval Workshop to the Maker Movement.” It was historical and hands-on: I wanted students to understand skills by reading and writing as well as by doing. We read history, psychology, and anthropology; manifestos, manuals, and memoirs. The Brown Design Workshop Tools and how-tos at the Brown Design Workshop We also got out into the shop — we met in the Brown Design Workshop, a new School of…

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Learners choose learning outcomes

Learners choose learning outcomes

Last year, I asked students in my Introduction to Public Humanities course to write the syllabus. I wrote about this here: you won’t believe what happened next! I didn’t repeat that project this year. In part, that’s because of different circumstances: teaching the fall, not the spring, means that students are new to the program, and the field. It doesn’t seem fair to ask them to design the whole course. And while the end result last year was fine, a…

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Leave the Durham memorial on the ground

Leave the Durham memorial on the ground

[originally published on Medium]  Aug 15, 2017 Leave the Durham memorial on the ground I’ve been teaching about memorials for over a decade. My goal has always been to help students understand the historical nuance of memorials: what they meant when they were constructed, the political processes that shaped them, the ways that their meanings changed over time. But I must admit: the video of the Durham confederate memorial being toppled gave me a visceral thrill. The confident way Takiyah Thompson climbed…

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Announcing a new timeline of museum history

Announcing a new timeline of museum history

I’m pleased to announce a new timeline of museum history. The timeline starts in the 17th century, with the 1628  Gallery of Cornelis van der Geest and Ole Worm’s 1655 Museum Wormianum, and comes up to the present day (Decolonize this Museum! and the Museums Change Lives campaign). It includes  175 entries about exhibits, collections, museum philosophy, and more. The timeline is a complement to my new book, Inside the Lost Museum: Curating, Past and Present, and is organized in…

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Museums are places to forget

Museums are places to forget

Museums are places to forget. An essay, illustrated with poems and images, on the ways that museums are used to forget things that society would prefer not to remember, and the ways in which museum forget things they should remember. On Medium.  https://medium.com/@lubar/museums-are-places-to-forget-ba76a92c5701

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