Archive for the ‘Museums’ Category

  • Curating across the Curriculum


    Barry Mauer and John Venecek

    We are developing curating projects teachers can use as part of their normal curricular activities. When students curate exhibits, they enhance their discovery, learning, and engagement with their disciplines. Curating also offers the following benefits:

    1. Improving archival literacy: Many students do not know how to use archives, including digital archives, effectively. Curating across the curriculum offers students opportunities to access and use archival materials for public presentations. Our models of curricular curating follows the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) “Standards for Literacy” as well as the “ACRL Standards for Technological Literacy.”
    2. Adapting to new technologies: Technological and social changes have shifted the focus of communicative practice from speech and writing to curating. Many archives are multimedia and contain documented sounds, images, and written texts. These documents can be fragmented, manipulated, juxtaposed, and synthesized in endless configurations. Also, digital platforms can be adapted to include student participation in ongoing discussions about key issues of public significance. Training students to manage public forums and to curate electronic texts helps them adapt to technological shifts.
    3. Addressing emergent problems: As public crises emerge, such as those affecting the environment, public health, civil rights, and the economy, we need a citizenry that can access many types of digital archives and participate in discussions that address these problems. Therefore, we intend that curating across the curriculum will help train students to consult on emergent problems by providing critical archival materials to the public.
    4. Providing multiple and overlooked perspectives: Student curators can provide unique perspectives on archival materials otherwise missed by trained professionals. Curating offers the possibility of multiple “frames” for understanding various materials, such as historical, technological, discursive, philosophical, and aesthetic frames. By encouraging groups of students to approach course materials using different frames, the class as a whole can appreciate multiple perspectives. Students may combine frames, add others, or create their own frames based on their research.

    We invite people with an interest in archives and exhibits to join us for an open discussion about curating across the curriculum. During this session, we hope to identify innovative ideas for curricular activities that involve curation as a means towards attaining the goals described above.

Skip to toolbar