Teaching with Material Culture and Historic Sites

AHA Session 207
Saturday, January 6, 2018: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Empire Ballroom (Omni Shoreham, Lower Level)
Scott Casper, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Zara Anishanslin, University of Delaware
Daniel Gifford, George Mason University
Cassandra A. Good, Marymount University
Whitney Martinko, Villanova University

Session Abstract

As historians across the profession—archivists, curators, documentary editors, professors, and more—form stronger links, more and more faculty are offering courses integrating material culture and historic sites. Such courses provide students with new ways of thinking about and interacting with the past, as well as contributing to burgeoning programs in public history and museum studies. They also push us as faculty to work collaboratively with other institutions and shift our pedagogical strategies.

In this roundtable, scholars who teach American history with material culture and historic sites will offer best practices and reflect on lessons learned in brief presentations. Zara Anishanslin describes how she integrates the study of objects and images into the US history survey. Bridging the museum and university worlds, Daniel Gifford offers perspectives for faculty who are teaching without physical collections they once relied upon. Cassandra Good and Whitney Martinko provide case studies of courses taught in collaboration, respectively, with a museum and a historic site. The panelists will then discuss larger themes and engage with audience questions.

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