What is Bad Art? Where do our ideas about aesthetics come from and how do those ideas change over time? Have you ever taken a still life class where the model was a dog? What does Enya have to do with all of this? Find out in our conversation with Maggie Unverzagt Goddard and Mika Matsuno, the Brown University students behind a recent crowdsourced exhibition on Bad Art.
Maggie Unverzagt Goddard is a PhD candidate in American Studies at Brown. She received an MA in Public Humanities from Brown and an MA in American Studies from the George Washington University. Her research engages visual culture and performance studies through a focus on objects, aesthetics, and the body.
Mika Matsuno is an undergraduate senior at Brown studying History and Sociology. She enjoys most the tactile experience of art making and gravitates most towards collage, printmaking, and fabric arts.
What role does folklore play in modern life? What is folklore, anyway? In this episode, Amelia Golcheski interviews West Virginia state folklorist Emily Hilliard to learn why folklore is more than just myths and legends. It can also be about labor movements, local histories, and even the “right” way to eat a hot dog. Amelia and Emily also discuss the recent teachers’ strike in West Virginia, misconceptions about life in so-called “Trump Country,” and approaches to public humanities that are invested in showing the importance of regional history.
Emily Hilliard is the West Virginia state folklorist and founder of the West Virginia Folklife Program at the West Virginia Humanities Council. She holds a B.A. in English and French from the University of Michigan, and an M.A. in folklore from the University of North Carolina. Find more of her work at emilyehilliard.com.
How are artists and performers finding creative uses for archival materials? On our latest episode we’re joined by Kate Duffy, a doctoral candidate in American Studies at Brown who is also one of the creators of The Phantom Archive. Kate describes her interest in creating dreamlike spaces around archival materials, explains what she’s learned from nineteenth-century forms of entertainment like panoramas and magic shows, and introduces us to Mr. Crowley and Nancy Luce.
Kate Duffy is a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at Brown University. Her focus is nineteenth-century American culture and the history of science. Right now she is working on a dissertation about phrenology. She also works in the world of museums and historic sites, most recently serving as a curatorial research fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. More information is on her web site at www.kateduffy.net.
Learn all about museums in Shanghai from our latest episode, which features a conversation between Public Humanities graduate student Zhuohan (Bella) Jiang and Susan Smulyan, Director of Brown University’s John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage. Zhuohan and Susan discuss why they think museums are particularly popular destinations for the city’s younger populations, how the cultural and economic factors of Shanghai and China are shaping the kinds of museums opening there, and what the uses of WeChat might tell us about visitor engagement here and in other global contexts.
Zhuohan (Bella) Jiang is a first-year Master’s student in Public Humanities at Brown University. She studied culture industry management at Tongji University in Shanghai.Developing much of her museum practice in Shanghai, she wishes to engage in a dialogue that supports innovation, global conversation, and public engagement in arts institutions.
Susan Smulyan is a Professor in the Department of American Studies at Brown University and the Director of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage. She is the author of Selling Radio: The Commercialization of American Broadcasting and Popular Ideologies: Mass Culture at Mid-Century, and co-editor of Major Problems in American Popular Culture. Most recently she was a Senior Fellow at Fudan University, Shanghai, where she was researching the new museums being built in China.
Hannah Mooney and Molly Pailet stopped by Public Work to talk about “Monument Worthy,” an exhibition they curated on the topic of “personal memory markers.” Hear Hannah and Molly talk with Jim and Amelia about the monuments and debates informing their work, the forms of monuments to personal memory that were revealed in their exhibition, and the ways we remember, erase, and interrogate history through our relationships to material objects large and small.
Hannah Mooney is a first year in the Public Humanities Master’s Program, who is interested in public history, museum education, and historic preservation. Aside from Public Work, her favorite podcast is 2 Dope Queens. For tweets related to museums and history, or more likely dogs, you can follow her @hannahemooney.
Molly Pailet is a first-year student in the MA Public Humanities Program. She is passionate about applied history, non-traditional education, and creating opportunities for engagement and connection. Her favorite podcast is The Mortified Guide, because she too has a very embarrassing collection of journals that the historian in her can’t bear to get rid of…primary source documents! Check her out on Twitter @akimboflamingo.
This episode gets into the nitty gritty of the museum world. After Jim and Amelia briefly chat about recent trips to small museums, first year public humanities student Maddie Mott interviews Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, President/CEO of the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine. Cinnamon shares her career trajectory, offers advice for folks wanting to get into the field, and talks about running a small museum. Their conversation also touches on one of the most important topics in the field right now: “decolonizing the museum.” Learn more about the Abbe Museum on their website.
Maddie Mott is a graduate student studying Public Humanities at Brown University. Before she came to Brown, she worked in development at the Clackamas County Historical Society and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. She is interested in studying new ways to make museums more inclusive, accessible, and sustainable, both internally and externally.
Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko joined the Abbe Museum as President/CEO in 2009. Prior to that point, Cinnamon was the director of the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum in Crawfordsville, Indiana where she led the organization to the National Medal for Museum Service in 2008. A passionate advocate for museums – their successes and their needs – and small museum expert, Cinnamon holds a BA in Anthropology and Art History from Purdue University, and is a graduate of the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) MA program in Anthropology with a specialization in Museum Studies.
In 2004, the Indiana Historical Society published Cinnamon’s first book The Art of Healing: The Wishard Art Collection. She is the co-editor of theSmall Museum Toolkit, a six book series, published by Altamira Press in 2012. In addition to editing, she authored the chapters on strategic planning and fundraising tactics. She is currently revising the second edition of the popular textbook Museum Administration.
In our first episode, Bryn Pernot, a second year Master’s in Public Humanities student at Brown University, speaks to Michael Christiano, Deputy Director for Audience Engagement and Public Practice at The Smart Museum of Art in Chicago. Their conversation touches on some of the most pressing topics in the museum field: the changing definition of “interpretation”, questions of institutional relevancy faced by museums in the 21st century, and the roles museums can, and should play, in their own neighborhoods and communities.
Bryn Pernot brings together anthropology, art, design, and games to research and develop innovative programs that integrate diverse backgrounds and perspectives and provide a space for public participation. Bryn is on Twitter @bryn_pernot.
Michael Christiano is Deputy Director and Curator of Public Practice at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. In this role, he develops strategies and programs that reflect on the nature of the Museum’s institutional practice, with a particular focus on education, interpretation, visitor experience, communications, installation strategy, and other key issues.
Emmanuel Pratt,, The Smart Museum’s 2017-18 Interpreter in Residence, is talked about a lot in this episode. You can learn more about Emmanuel and his great work (including some of the public programming mentioned towards the end of the episode) here.
Watch Emmanuel discuss the exciting “We The Publics” project (currently part of The Smart’s “Radical [Re]Constructions” installation here.