A "Handy House" for Student Consultants: Teaching History in a Local House Museum

The Cadman-White-Handy House, Westport, Massachusetts.:

The Westport (Massachusetts) Historical Society asked for our help with their newly acquired 1710 Cadman-White-Handy House. How might they use it as “a cultural hub around which the community can reconnect to its heritage”?

Students in the “Shrine, House, or Home: Rethinking the House Museum Paradigm” course took on the challenge. Molly Kerker, a student in the Public Humanities MA program, was a member of that class. I asked her about this experience.

What was the most challenging aspect of coming up with a plan to interpret the Handy House?

(Distributed April 10, 2014)

How to succeed in Public Humanities

Atticks '11 with Sculptor Larry Egan:

Archivists, arts administrators, art teachers, communications managers, consultants, cultural planners, curators, development writers, interpretive guides, marketing coordinators, museum curators and educators, nonprofit business managers, oyster farmers.

Education, interpretation, research, and administration.

Cities, historic sites, museums, parks, and universities.

(Distributed April 2, 2014)

Learning to Read Dance

"Angels in the Attic" at the ADLI Mini-Fest 2014. :

"If I could tell you what it meant, there would be no point in dancing it.” - Isadora Duncan...  I like to think of myself as culturally literate. I work in the arts, I can drop the odd Shakespeare quote in conversation, and I can tell abstract expressionism from Dadaism. But when I began working with American Dance Legacy Initiative (ADLI) I realized how illiterate I was when it came to dance.

(Distributed March 26, 2014)

Intersecting Identities: Power Dynamics in the Public Humanities

Attendees at Intersecting Identities: Power Dynamics in the Public Humanities:

Claims of authenticity or ownership relate to power and impact all of the work we do in the public humanities. Who owns what? Who gets to speak for whom, and when? Commemoration and representation, the use of social media, heritage, sites of conscience, public art: all of these areas of work are classed, raced and gendered and they all rely on claims to power and the propagation of dominant stories. Yet it is important to understand that even working to tell the hidden, invisible or resistance narratives can be troubled.

(Distributed March 21, 2014)

The Jenks Museum of Natural History and Anthropology

As part of the university’s 250th anniversary, a group of  Public Humanities students, faculty, and collaborators are giving new life to a piece of Brown’s history. Christened ‘The Jenks Society for Lost Museums’, the group is tracking down remaining objects, remaking specimens, and researching the Jenks Museum of Natural History and Anthropology’s history. 

(Distributed March 10, 2014)

Rhode Island is Going Mobile

Mashapaug Pond-one of the sites that will be featured on Mobile Rhode Island:

The John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities will collaborate to create a Rhode Island statewide mobile application, tentatively titled, “Mobile RI.” The appearance and format of the app will be similar to Sakonnet Historical, a mobile app developed by the Center for Public Humanities, the Tiverton Public Library, and the Little Compton Historical Society, with funding and support by RICH.

(Distributed January 31, 2014)

EMBODIED HISTORIES: American Dance Legacy Initiative (ADLI) at the Center for Public Humanities

Student at Central Falls High School doing “Body Research” on José Limón:

Dances by American choreographers provide unique insight into American history and culture, yet Americans, historically, have not turned to dancers or dance institutions to deepen their understanding of America. In fact, as a culture, we have privileged the visual arts and the word over the performing arts, particularly dance, and turned to literature, paintings, sculpture, and artifacts to tell the story of who we are and from whence we came.

(Distributed January 23, 2014)
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