Canceled for Summer 2020
This course offers a rare opportunity to explore Chicago’s world-class museums, libraries, and collections, as we learn to study history through objects. We will consider the history of slavery through silver teapots and mahogany furniture, the history of science through specimen collecting, the challenges of self-representation through oil-on-canvas portraiture and paper silhouettes, the culture of death through gravestones, and the role of space in religious life. To do this we will rarely be in a classroom, but rather “on the road,” encountering real objects, discussing them with expert curators, librarians, and scholars. You will be challenged to look closely, see what others do not, and gather evidence. In an increasingly image and object saturated culture, this course will empower students to understand the arguments and ideas embedded in things, and to critically engage how material objects actively shape our lives. This approach will enhance your ability to see, think, analyze, and argue—a set of skills that can be transferred to any discipline or career path you may choose.
Current Grade / Education Level