Spotlight on Experiential Learning: Instructor panel with the Library (Maps, Archives, Rare Books and Ottawa Resource Room)
From Nina Dore
Come and connect with faculty/instructors and the brilliant faculty and staff at the Library as they work together to support future scholars through experiential learning.
Instructor panelists include:
- Tracey Lauriault, Associate Professor (Communication and Media Studies).
- Hugh Reid, Adjunct Research Professor (English Literature). Hugh’s experiential learning activity: Each student chooses a book from the 18th century collection in the Library’s Special Collections. Then they have two tasks. First they examine the ‘materiality’ of the text, that is, how does the physical book influence the way we read it. A modern example might be why are the titles to the Harry Potter books different in the UK than the USA? The 18th century used all sorts of ‘tricks’ to get people to buy the books and students must decide which ‘tricks’ are used for their particular book, e.g. what effect does the frontispiece, title page, illustrations (if any), etc. have. Then they have to ascertain, as best they can, the provenance of that particular book. Some books have signatures in the them, e.g. ‘Mary Cox 1768’. Who was Mary Cox? In essence, the students are trying to solve 250 year old mysteries and as no one has looked at that particular text in that way before, they are doing ‘original’ research. It is exhilarating and frustrating. They work hard to find something and don’t, but then some clue turns up and they are off again. For this presentation I shall use a book from my own collection to illustrate the procedure.
- David Dean, Professor (Public History). David’s experiential learning activity: I’ll be talking about the Capital History project which brings history to the streets of Ottawa through striking visual installations at traffic intersections and an interactive website. It is an excellent example of collaborative, community centred, public history that provides valuable experiential learning experience for students. The ASC’s Ottawa Resource Collection provides the foundation for student engagement.
- Dominique Marshall, Professor (History). Dominique’s experiential learning activity: For the past six years, the Canadian Network on Humanitarian History and Carleton University Archives and Special Collections have conducted an operation of “Archival Rescue” amongst veteran humanitarians. The result has been rich and surprising. This presentation will give examples of teaching, mentoring and research possibilities opened by that operation.
- Dr. Stephane Roy, Assistant Professor (Art & Architectural History): Stéphane’s experiential learning activity: For my presentation, I will use the following book: Catalogue raisonné des différens objets de curiosités dans les sciences et arts : qui composoient le cabinet de feu Mr Mariette Controleur général de la Grande chancellerie de France, honoraire amateur de l’Académie Rle. de peinture, et de celle de Florence (N5262 .M325 C37 1775). This specific 18th-century auction catalogue is interesting for many reasons. While students may be familiar with the art market in general (artworks fetching millions of dollars are regularly featured in the news), they are usually unaware that art auctions date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Auction catalogues from the early modern period played an important part in the emergence of Art history as a discipline. Auctioneers and art dealers were consummate experts in the field of visual arts, and their catalogues display a strong desire to organise and structure vast collections of objects in a systematic way (media, genre, country of origin, etc.). This “catalogue raisonné” also provides an opportunity to talk about the history of taste in previous centuries. MacOdrum’s copy contains manuscript annotations indicating prices fetched during the auction, hence helping us in understanding which works were in high demand, often from artists who are no longer found in today’s textbooks.