Workshops Funded for Spring 2015
Melissa Salrin, Co-coordinator (Library); Sarah Davies, Co-coordinator (History); Bob Carson (Geology/Environmental Studies); Nico Parmley (Spanish); Kynde Kiefel (Sheehan Gallery); Krista Gulbransen (AHVCS); James Warren (General Studies); Rogers Miles (Religion); and Laura Ferguson (History). Report - Salrin/Davies Workshop
Beyond A Cabinet of Curiosities: A Pedagogical Investigation of College Collections
Description: This workshop engages the unique challenges and opportunities of teaching with college collections. While some faculty members use paintings, photographs, realia, and manuscripts to great effect in their teaching, many members our campus community remain unaware of the depth and breadth of our holdings. We believe a sustained, focused investigation of our collections will not only amplify their use in the curriculum across campus but it will be a preliminary step toward developing institutional awareness of the ethics and legacies of housing such collections. In turn, dialogue with faculty will also enable staff members charged with caring and developing these collections to development policies that are more beneficial to the larger educational goals of the college.
Our work will be hands-on. We'd like to tour our collections, share assignments we have designed, and look for opportunities to incorporate material culture objects in other courses. We also seek to make the practice of collecting/archiving an object of investigation. Our syllabus will include selections from King, Collections of Nothin Anderson, Reinventing the Museum: The Evolving Conversation on the Paradigm Shift; Silverman, The Social Work Museums; Turkle, Evocative Objects: Things We Think With; and Moist and Banash, eds., Contemporary Collecting Objects, Practices, and the Fates of Things. Selected readings will ground our work in larger conversations about teaching and the role of museums/archives in higher education.
The workshop aims to answer the following broad questions: What is the genealogy of collections and collecting practices of Whitman College? What are the ethical considerations of retaining and teaching with objects that may has particular meanings attached to them by their original owners or communities? How can an investigation of collections help us to consider larger themes of inclusion/exclusion?
Elyse Semerdjian, Coordinator (History); Matt deTar (Rhetoric); Daniel Forbes (Sheehan Gallery); Elizabeth Miller (General Studies); Suzanne Morrissey (Anthropology/Interdisciplinary Studies); Jason Pribilsky (Anthropology/Interdisciplinary Studies); David Schulz (Communications); and Jonathan Walters (Religion). Report - Semerdjian Workshop
Orientalism, Photography, and Human Zoos: A Cross-Disciplinary Conversation with the Adnan Charara Collection
Description: We will be reading scholarship on photography, Orientalism, and human zoos with a group of faculty who are interested in working with the Adnan Charara Collection of ethnographic photographs housed at Whitman from 2014-2016.