Students at Harvard Law School are calling for a change to the school’s seal, which incorporates the family crest of HLS benefactor Isaac Royall, one of the biggest slaveholders in colonial greater Boston. I’ve often heard people react protectively towards the historic names on buildings, street signs, and other institutions, saying that you can’t try to erase a piece of history just because you don’t like it. I agree on the surface, but as a historian and museum professional who studies how we create and perpetuate public memory, I cannot ignore the fact that we as a society erase or paint over pieces of history all the time. Just as photographs can never be fully objective because something is always left out of the frame, public memory is a process of constant choices. There’s simply too much history to commemorate all of it all of the time, and what we commemorate changes. What’s important is that we as a society choose wisely when we honor people from the past.
Friday, November 6, 2015
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
I haven't been publishing online very much in the last six months or so, largely because I've been working on projects in other media, such as articles for a forthcoming history textbook, a radio play produced by the Post-Meridian Radio Players, and bringing myself up to speed on two centuries of medical history and innovation for my work as the exhibits and education specialist at the Paul S. Russell Museum at Mass General Hospital. Here's a selection of my recent work which you can find online.
A post for Chameleon's Dish Theatre on why small theater matters
A post on the Tufts Museum Studies blog
My farewell post on the Tufts Museum Studies blog
A 1920's-inspired knitting pattern for a scarf and purse set, designed and written by yours truly.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Here are my posts from my column, "The Wider World," on the Tufts Museum Studies blog from the summer and fall semesters. The Wider World is about ways that museum studies students can be connected with the world outside our grad school bubble in order to better serve the diverse communities that make up the potential audiences of museums where we work and study.
- Ushers at the Gates of Information
- Getting to Know a New Area
- Design with the Public in Mind
- How Do You Keep Up?
- What I did… right after my summer vacation
- Accuracy vs. Authenticity in Slave Quarters — Reflections and A Call To Action
- Visitor Studies in the Wild?
- Does the Status Quo Myth Hold Us Back? Part 1 of 2