Curating Curiosities: Object-Based Learning in Museum and Classroom Settings

TitleCurating Curiosities: Object-Based Learning in Museum and Classroom Settings
Faculty/College/UnitArts
StatusActive
Duration3 Years
Initiation04/01/2017
Funding Details
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year2017/2018
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorTara Mayer
Year 1: Funded Amount4,584
Year 1: Team Members

Tara Mayer, Instructor I, History, Faculty of Arts

Year 1: Summary

Support is sought for a special summer class at the Museum of Vancouver (MoV). The Museum holds a unique collection of objects from South Asia, which were brought to Vancouver in the 1930s by local travellers. These objects have never before been catalogued, researched, or exhibited. During the Summer Session 2017, the History Department seeks to offer a special course for its undergraduate students that centres on interrogating these objects and their implications for local history. Led jointly by UBC faculty and a senior MoV curator, the course consists of both classroom elements (examining the theory of material culture research and establishing a historical context for these objects) and time in the museum collections. This will allow undergraduate students to be actively engaged in ongoing research and experience first- hand how the skills of a History degree can be applied to communicating new knowledge about the past to the wider community.

Year 2: Project YearYear 2
Year 2: Funding Year2018/2019
Year 2: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 2: Principal InvestigatorTara Mayer
Year 2: Funded Amount3,987
Year 2: Team Members

Tara Mayer, Instructor I, History, Faculty of Arts

Year 2: Summary

This project builds a new institutional partnership between UBC and the Museum of Vancouver (MOV). It will [1] provide new experiential learning opportunities to undergraduate students, [2] develop open educational resources, and [3] engage the wider community. It centres on a largely uncharted collection of South Asian artefacts brought to Vancouver in the 1930s/40s. These collected “curiosities” brought back by local travelers as well as by Indian immigrants to Vancouver reveal stories about the city’s changing place in the world. In the first iteration of the course (May/June 2017), students surveyed these objects and produced catalogue entries.

In the second year of the project -- for which this application seeks funding -- students will deepen this research and produce "life-histories" of these objects in collaboration with local knowledge-bearers. In the third year (2019/20), students will turn this body of research into an online exhibition and open educational resource.

Year 3: Project YearYear 3
Year 3: Funding Year2019/2020
Year 3: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 3: Principal InvestigatorTara Mayer
Year 3: Funded Amount7,828
Year 3: Team Members

Tara Mayer, Instructor, History, Faculty of Arts

Year 3: Summary

In the second year of the project (Summer 2018), students expanded on this work and produced "life-histories" of these objects in collaboration with local knowledge-holders. In the third year (Summer 2019), students will turn this body of research into an online exhibition and open educational resource.