In this episode we talk with Cyra Levenson from the Yale Center for British Art and Yale Professor of American Studies, History, and African-American Studies, Matt Jacobson about incorporating real artifacts and works of art into your teaching. Specifically, we talk about why you might want to do such a thing, and how you can get started doing it.
0:00 ⏯ Intro
1:20 ⏯ How the British Art Center supports research and teaching as “new meaning-making.”
2:47 ⏯ Incorporating the embodied experience of being in front of an object: epiphanies and discoveries.
4:25 ⏯ The live lecture is “grounded cognition,” where the video lecture is not.
6:37 ⏯ Creating different kinds of knowledge.
8:05 ⏯ How artifacts can help clinicians learn about bias and clinical decision-making.
10:48 ⏯ Using cultural objects as a lens through which to see the politics of empire.
13:23 ⏯ Teaching U.S. history through 12 commodities.
15:22 ⏯ Using the same painting to teach different topics.
16:20 ⏯ Analyzing the museum as an institution.
16:46 ⏯ Humanistic teaching as trining in critical thinking: “moving slowly and consciously through it…thinking about it all the while.”
22:00 ⏯ Dermatologists look at British art: observation and description as transdisciplinary skills.
24:01 ⏯ Making a learning experience memorable.
27:18 ⏯ Doing public humanities by asking students to do projects with a real-world engagement. Students create an exhibition at the Institute Library about 100 years of the performing arts in New Haven.
31:16 ⏯ Guiding group projects which are “wide open”: they figure it out. Students stage a revolution in a seminar.
35:29 ⏯ Isolated students reproducing knowledge for a few people vs. groups making new knowledge for a wider audience.
36:30 ⏯ Why bother? What’s the payoff for loosely structured group projects?
39:27 ⏯ Using constraints and design thinking in higher ed humanities courses.
40:24 ⏯ Each student gets excited by something different. Giving up on “coverage” in favor of developing students’ skills and concerns.
45:09 ⏯ When learning is driven by the students’ needs for knowledge.
47:07 ⏯ Art collections on a university campus support disciplinary conversations. Learning to teach visually where images are no longer mere illustrations. Lecturing as dynamically curating.
54:35 ⏯ Teaching as improvisation.