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Author: Steven Lubar

Short videos on collections

Short videos on collections

Two more short videos prepared for my “Methods in Public Humanities” course. These address museum collections, one on registration and one on online access to collections. They’re designed as background for my students, but might be more generally useful. They join a larger group of short videos on exhibitions, here. More to come!

Exhibition How-to Videos

Exhibition How-to Videos

Remote teaching this fall meant figuring how to reduce in-class lectures, and so I recorded some of the talks I would normally give in class. And once recorded – why not share them? What you’ll find here are short talks about how to do exhibits. They are aimed at students interested in museum work, especially curatorial and education work. They are syncretic and idiosyncratic. That is, they provide a summary of different ways of approaching exhibit development, and also my…

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Paper, ink, type, books

Paper, ink, type, books

Next year I will be teaching a new course on books that combines my interest in making with my new focus on digital scholarship. This summer I worked with three Brown undergraduates (Elena Newman, Malery Nguyen, and Mara Jovanovic) to invent the course, and especially to think about hands-on projects. Here’s a report on some of the work we’ve done. (First: A thank-you to the Dean of the College at Brown, who made this possible through the SPRINT program, designed…

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Boatbuilding

Boatbuilding

In Fall semester 2019 I co-taught a course called Boatbuilding: Design, Making, and Culture, with Chris Bull and Shep Shapiro. Here’s the description: This course introduces the study of the design, engineering, work, material culture and history through the construction of a traditional workboat, a Maine peapod. As the class builds the boat we’ll gain a hands-on understanding of issues of engineering, design, skill, and workmanship. At the same time, we’ll do historical research and visit museums to gain insight…

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Little Compton Landscape Stories

Little Compton Landscape Stories

Last year (summer 2019) the Little Compton Historical Society took on the topic of landscapes. (Each year the organization focuses on a different topic.) We edited a book on Little Compton landscapes. (Available here.) We did an exhibition that showed off maps, landscape paintings, and some of the tools that shaped our landscape history. Students in the public humanities program at Brown contributed several virtual extensions of the exhibit. One group used StoryMaps to tell focused stories of the landscape,…

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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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