Museum Studies at Tufts University

Exploring ideas and engaging in conversation

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Weekly Jobs Roundup!

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. Happy hunting!

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Call for Articles: Emerging History Professional Takeover of History News Magazine

Call for Articles: Emerging History Professional Takeover of History News Magazine

Emerging History Professionals are taking over the Winter 2018 issue of AASLH’s History News magazine! The issue will be guest co-edited by emerging history professionals Hope Shannon and Hannah Hethmon. Features and articles will all focus on Emerging History Professionals and reflect their insights and opinions about the field.

Anyone in the early stages of a public history career, broadly defined, is an Emerging History Professional. This includes graduate and undergraduate students, hobbyists, early-career professionals, and any other AASLH members who identify as belonging to this community.

History News exists to foster publication, scholarly research, and an open forum for discussion of best practices, applicable theories, and professional experiences pertinent to the field of state and local history. History News is a quarterly membership publication of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), a nonprofit educational membership organization providing leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American society.

The editors are seeking submission of article abstracts. Proposed articles must:

  • Be relevant to the theme of Emerging History Professionals. Articles by emerging professionals will be given priority over those with more time in the field.
  • Not have previously been published elsewhere.
  • Be 2,500-3,000 words in length and properly footnoted and cited in Chicago/Turabian style.

Instructions and Deadlines:

The deadline for submitting abstracts is August 15, 2017.

Authors of accepted articles will be notified by the first week of September 2017. They will then have until November 1 to submit a final edited and reviewed version of their article. At that time, the article must be fit for print.

Along with the abstract (500 words max), submission must include:

  • A brief paragraph explaining how the article is relevant to the early history career/emerging history professional issues and AASLH’s mission (200 words max)
  • A brief biographical statement (100 words max)

Questions about topics and submission guidelines should be directed to Hope Shannon (hopejshannon@gmail.comand Hannah Hethmon (info@hhethmon.com).

For more information including topic suggestions, click here.

Weekly Jobs Roundup!

Here’s our weekly roundup of new jobs. Happy hunting!

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Midwest

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Changes Coming to the Blog!

Hello museum lovers!

Dominique and I have a few new plans for the blog this year, and we want to use this post to keep you aware of some changes to expect:

Events Page

The blog currently has an events calendar to highlight exciting museum events in the Boston area each month. We are switching to an events page where you can link directly to area museums’ events calendars to see their up-to-date event listings. Check back over the upcoming weeks to see additions to this page as we continue to implement our plans!

Around the Globe

A few weeks ago, our weekly post highlighted the GeoFort in the Netherlands, starting our Around the Globe series (check it out here if you missed it!). Periodically, we’ll highlight a museum outside the United States and you’ll soon be able to find all these under the Popular Categories menu on our home page. If you’re planning a trip or just want to add new museums to your mental file cabinet, this section is for you!

Contribute

While the opportunity to contribute to the blog isn’t new, these updates bring more opportunities to do so! Here’s a list of ways to contribute!

If you…

  • Get word of an exciting museum event in Boston
  • Visit, or hear about, a great museum outside the U.S.
  • Visit a museum or new exhibit within the United States
  • Read an interesting article related to museums
  • Are pondering a topic or issue in the museum field
  • Hear about a museum job opening in the U.S.

…send us a message! And of course, if you have other ideas or questions, send us a message for that too!

We’re excited for these changes and hope you are too! Keep your eyes out as they gradually get put into place.

And lastly, THANK YOU for reading, engaging with, and sharing our blog! We love hearing hearing from fellow museum lovers!

What We’re Reading: “This Art Museum Hired a Neuroscientist to Change the Way We Look at Art” -Christopher Snow Hopkins

What We’re Reading: “This Art Museum Hired a Neuroscientist to Change the Way We Look at Art” -Christopher Snow Hopkins

Imagine your professional life as a chaotic compilation of meetings, projects, networking, events, and a traffic-ridden commute – not far from the truth, right? Now think about the way your brain focuses in some of these hectic work-life situations? Can you hone-in on the million things that run through your mind or the numerous tasks you have to complete? Probably not to the extent that you would like.

So, now let’s make the metaphoric stretch of this hustle-bustle lifestyle to the salon style presentation of museum galleries. Chances are, if you have ever found yourself in a salon setting you may find it hard to focus on a specific painting or object, or you may feel overwhelmed by the volume of works on display. From here, questions arise as to why and how the human brain can’t seem to focus on too many things at once, or why we might feel overwhelmed in everyday life or museum salons? Or how can museums best present their collections in a balanced manner that does not overwhelm and underwhelm the audience? These questions, compiled with the declining attendance in museums, are what prompted the Peabody Essex Museum to hire Neurological Researcher Dr. Tedi Asher in the hopes of finding a means to display its collection that will draw audiences in and increase the relevance of museums in today’s world. In his article “Neuroscientist to Change the Way we Look at Art”, Christopher Snow Hopkins explores the measure that the PEM is taking alongside Dr. Asher to offer heightened sensory experiences that challenge, but also meet the needs of the audience.

According to author Christopher Hopkins, the aim of neurological research at PEM is to continue to promote museums to the public in a time of declining museum attendance. Dr Asher believes Neuroaesthetics is the key to this mission expansion at the PEM. As described in the article, neuroaesthetics is “the synthesis of neuroscience and aesthetics.

Neuroscience could hold many answers to the problematic relevance museums seem to face today. Perhaps visitors are not being “wowed” enough, or they are being overwhelmed by an exhibit, as suggested in the salon-style example. Thus, neuroaesthetics is a fresh approach that could help improve the visitor experience and intake through our brain connections. Asher claims that a “satisfying experience has this delicate balance of meeting and violating our expectations.” Therefore, in exhibit design there is a fine balance between surprising the visitor and helping the visitor make sense of the content.

Asher is also aiming toward creating rest areas that act as palate cleansers to give visitors a break between art pieces, exhibits, etc.  She also wants to develop spaces that really highlight one or a few objects, but evoke different emotions and sensory experiences within the space to accompany the objects.

It will certainly be intriguing to follow Asher’s progress at the PEM and to view and better understand neurology’s place in the museum experience.

Click here to read Christopher Snow Hopkins’ full article!

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