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I asked students to write the syllabus. You won’t believe what happened next.

I asked students to write the syllabus. You won’t believe what happened next.

Yesterday was the first day of the new semester, and the first day of “Introduction to Public Humanities.” I’ve taught this course most years since I established the public humanities program twelve years ago. It’s the theory half of the introductory courses, paired with “Methods in Public Humanities.” It’s usually taught in the fall. But I was on leave, and so this year the public humanities students got methods first, and then theory. It’s an interesting philosophical question: which comes first, the method…

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“Collecting and Collections” course & stamp exhibit

“Collecting and Collections” course & stamp exhibit

Head over to the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities blog for a post Sarah Dylla and I wrote about our course last semester, AMST1510, Museum Collecting and Collections. And head over to the John Hay Library where you can see the course exhibition, Thousands of Little Colored Windows: Brown University’s Stamp Collections. A few pictures of the exhibit…  

A class about collections

A class about collections

We’re halfway through the semester, and my collections class is deep into the stamp exhibition project. I’m teaching a course titled “Museum Collecting and Collections.” There are three projects: the Brown University’s Library extensive stamp collections the paintings that came to Brown with the Annmary Brown Memorial, and scientific instruments scattered across Brown departments. In each case, we’re trying to understand the history of the collection, think about their potential use, do some cataloging, and propose a collections management and development plan. Today…

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Trajectory [a welcome to the new class of public humanities students] 2015]

Trajectory [a welcome to the new class of public humanities students] 2015]

Robyn asked me to give “something like a trajectory of how we’ve come to understand ‘public humanities’ within the program’s history,” connected to the work you’ll be doing with this semester. That’s a fair assignment for me, as someone who’s been part of that trajectory. I know Robyn won’t mind if I question her assignment a bit, consider her assumptions. (That’s what you’re supposed to do in graduate school, especially at Brown!) There are two questions to consider. First Question:…

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Workshop with the NY Humanities Council Public Humanities Fellows

Workshop with the NY Humanities Council Public Humanities Fellows

Earlier this week I met with the NY Council for the Humanities Public Humanities Fellows. This is a fairly new program (started by a former student, Leah Nahmias!) that connects PhD students at NY schools with local communities. The goals are ambitious: to bring humanities scholarship into the public realm, encourage emerging humanities scholars to conceive of their work in relation to the public sphere, develop scholars’ skills for doing public work, and strengthen the public humanities community in New…

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Course for the fall: Introduction to Public Humanities

Course for the fall: Introduction to Public Humanities

It’s that more-than-half-way through the summer inflection point when suddenly it seems that school starts too soon. It’s time to think about fall semester. One of my courses this fall is my usual Introduction to Public Humanities, the seminar for new MA students in the public humanities program, along with a few others who seem to have interesting things to say. At the end of last year’s course I asked the students to fill out a survey on the course. They graded each…

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Exhibit and exhibit labels workshop

Exhibit and exhibit labels workshop

I talked to the “Methods in Public Humanities” class today about exhibitions. A very quick overview, and didn’t even get to the how-to-write-good-labels part of the talk. Here are my presentations, on exhibits generally, and on exhibit labels, slightly cleaned up but without much in the way of notes.  

“Museum Histories” course, Spring 2015

“Museum Histories” course, Spring 2015

Here’s the syllabus for my upcoming course, AMST1903I. It’s a history of museums, mostly American, history and science as well as art. The syllabus includes links to many of the articles, but you’ll find some are behind paywalls. Any feedback welcome! [scribd id=252173704 key=key-QP8xBNRSKsbXowmmtvLd mode=scroll]

My talk at Mt. Holyoke: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

My talk at Mt. Holyoke: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Here are my slides and my notes from a talk I gave at Mt. Holyoke College for the (long name!) Five Colleges, Inc. / Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Bridging Initiative in the Public and Applied Humanities. I greatly enjoyed the opportunity, both because writing the talk allowed me to look back over the past decade of the public humanities program at Brown, and also because it’s great to see smart people thinking through how public humanities might work for them…

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