Online workshop Teaching Through Objects, 26-27 November 2020
TEACHING THROUGH OBJECTS: ENGAGING STUDENTS WITH MATERIAL CULTURE IN UNIVERSITY AND PUBLIC SETTINGS
A two-day multidisciplinary online workshop 26th-27th November 2020.
Deadline for submissions: 12th October 2020
Objects present uniquely compelling and complex tools for teaching and research. This twoday workshop aims to strengthen our use of material culture in teaching by exploring objectcentred teaching and learning practices. Material culture embodies a multitude of potential narratives, and offers students opportunities to think about their discipline(s) in new ways. This event will bring together a range of perspectives to consider how those leading directed teaching sessions can support this process. This event is organised by doctoral researchers whose work crosses university and museum departments, and is designed to help bridge a gap in the guidance and resources given to most early career academic tutors. Between the training that universities provide on teaching and that heritage organisations offer on object handling, little attention is paid to employing material culture in teaching. This workshop therefore offers participants space to share and discuss the particular issues involved when students are learning from historic artefacts. Whilst this event focuses on university-based teaching contexts, we embrace insights gained from related fields, including museums and galleries. This online workshop is directed primarily at fellow postgraduate researchers who hold (or are interested in obtaining) teaching positions, although we are interested in the role of material culture in learning more broadly. We will be joined by experienced practitioners including Jim Harris (Andrew W. Mellon Teaching Curator at the Ashmolean Museum) and Marenka Odlum-Thompson (Research Associate on the Labelling Matters project at the Pitt Rivers Museum). Through a blend of papers, practical sessions and roundtable discussions, we will collectively explore the benefits and challenges of teaching with objects. We invite proposals for 15 minute papers or practical sessions. Themes and questions to explore may include (but are not limited to):
● Why teach with objects?
● Your experience of teaching with objects in university contexts
● Approaches to interpreting objects in the museum, archive, university and community
● Collections historically designed for teaching purposes
● Breaking boundaries: cross-disciplinary approaches to teaching using objects
● Creativity and well-being: using objects as a springboard for ‘soft skills’
● Breaking boundaries: cross-disciplinary approaches to teaching using objects (natural history/archaeology/anthropology/art/science collections etc.)
● Students’ experiences of object handling and site visits
● Challenges and controversies: identifying and navigating ethical issues
● Using material culture outside the classroom: artefacts in popular culture and the news
● Teaching with material culture during the COVID-19 crisis
If you have any questions or wish to discuss a proposal in advance of submission, please contact the workshop organisers on the same email address.
Organisers: Nicola Froggatt, Rosanna Evans, Mary McMahon, Susan Newell