Monday, August 10, 2009

Classroom/Syllabus Opportunity

Not too long ago I (Nic Witschi) came across some display cases in the third floor rotunda of Waldo Library that have in them some excellent exhibits featuring elements from Special Collections & Rare Books. Upon further investigation I was delighted to learn that such exhibits are often produced by student workers at the Collection, and that at present a number of very fine and informative cases have been put together by students in English. I sent my compliments to the Head of Special Collections, Dr. Susan Steuer, and the resulting conversation led to the following invitation to our classes. Please contact Prof. Steuer if you have any questions, interest, or ideas . She writes:

"In addition to the exhibits our student workers develop, we have worked with some classes in which students develop a one-case exhibition as an assignment, and we would be delighted to work with any interested faculty in English who would like to explore using this kind of assignment in their courses when it is feasible.

"We have also developed exhibitions for particular courses (in history, art, English, engineering and medieval studies) which support the pedagogical goals of the course, such as examples of different types of color reproduction methods (for art and
engineering) or a brief overview of the way a text was presented (printed, illustrated and edited) over time (in English or History). Sometimes these are formally mounted in cases, and sometimes, when class sizes allow, we set materials out and let students look through them during a class meeting time or as preparation for a
particular day's discussion.

"Our goal is to support the curriculum and help in any way we can with teaching and research at WMU, so please pass along any of this information that you find of use to anyone you like. We are always glad to have more people aware of our collections and services. Please let me know if you would like further details.

"Sue Steuer

"Susan Steuer, Ph.D.
"Head, Department of Special Collections and Assistant Professor
"Waldo Library
"Western Michigan University

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