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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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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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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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