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Thursday, May 13 • 10:00am - 11:00am
21. Curiosity, Critical Inquiry, and Digital Skills in Undergraduate Art History Courses

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What would librarianship look like if we increased the range of what we can imagine as creative, scholarly work? Join us in exploring non-traditional activities and assignments in undergraduate art history courses.

Moderator: Michelle Johnson

Curiosity and Critical Practice: Building Reflective, Collaborative Communities

In the course “Curiosity and Critical Practice,” students reflect on the role curiosity and inquiry play in the way we conceptualize ourselves as thinkers. We wonder, together, what does it mean to be curious? How has the practice of observing, looking, and noticing shaped our identities as thinkers, writers, and makers? Students build their capacity to notice and articulate questions, developing a greater sensitivity to how questions shape our environment, our relationships, and identities. Questions in and of themselves are at the center of our work as a class, including our collaboration with a studio arts course where we respond to one another’s questions in the form of images, objects, videos, and more questions. Students find that these diverse modes of critical inquiry and response open up what they can imagine as creative, scholarly work, and help them to become more deeply aware of their own authentic questions.


Speaker: Kate Joranson

Beyond the Essay: Integrating Digital Skills Development into Undergraduate Art History

The essay has long been a standard assessment in art history. With galleries and museums looking for ways of engaging their audiences and educating and entertaining their public, institutions are turning to interactive digital content that is made publicly available. Numerous institutional closures have increased this need. As a result, there is a shift towards a need for art historians to have the technical skills that assists in the development and delivery of such content. This session presents three courses that incorporated non-traditional assignments focusing on digital skills acquisition - a digital exhibit incorporating VR, a visual StoryMap, and a podcast - where students were given the opportunity to develop tangible technical skills in addition to skills more closely associated with art history: critical thinking, analysis, and academic writing. Topics covered include faculty buy-in, outcomes and assignment design, software selection, session delivery online, alongside dos and don’ts for those thinking of supporting similar assignments.


Speaker: Paulina Rousseau



Michelle Johnson

University of Toronto

avatar for Kate Joranson

Kate Joranson

Head Librarian, Henry Clay Frick Fine Arts Library, University Library System, University of Pittsburgh

Paulina Rousseau

University of Toronto Scarborough Library

Thursday May 13, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am EDT