This book is a compilation of case studies and analyses that can be used as a resource guide for college and university professors of foreign language and academic museum educators collaborating to develop new pedagogical approaches to teaching foreign language with and through objects in the academic museum. As institutions of higher education respond to the needs of an increasingly global and interconnected world, their educational missions prioritize learning in areas such as interdisciplinary thinking, collaboration, intercultural competency, and global citizenship. Academic museums are uniquely poised to facilitate learning experiences in these areas, providing institutions with an essential platform for realizing their larger mission.
Heather Flaherty, as Curator of Education at The Trout Gallery, the art museum of Dickinson College, directs educational programming for college and community audiences. Flaherty received her Ph.D. in the History of Art from The University of Michigan and her scholarship focuses on medieval manuscripts. Under her leadership, The Trout Gallery has won the Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association’s Merit Award for connecting language and art and the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages James W. Dodge Award for Outstanding Foreign Language Advocacy.
Jodi Kovach is the Curator of Academic Programs at the Gund Gallery, Kenyon College. In this role, she partners with faculty across disciplines to integrate art into the curricula. She holds a PhD in Art History from Washington University in St. Louis. Her scholarship focuses on international modernism and global contemporary art, with a specialization in Mexican art, and has appeared in publications such as Art Journal.
Introduction, Heather Flaherty, Curator of Education, The Trout Gallery Dickinson College, and Jodi Kovach, Curator of Academic Programs, Gund Gallery, Kenyon College
Part I: Foreign Language Programs within Academic Museums: A Relationship of Reciprocity
Chapter 1: “Student Benefits of Museum Visits as Part of the Foreign Language Curriculum.” Erin Díaz, Associate Professor of Spanish and Spanish Language Coordinator, Dickinson College.
Chapter 2: “Curating the Curriculum: Museums as Language Labs for Authentic Target-Language Conversations.” Preea Leelah, Assistant Professor of French in the Center for Global Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Williams College; Libby Murphy, Professor of French and Chair of the Department ofWorld Languages and Cultures, Georgia College.
Part II: Engaging with Museum Objects for Critical Applications of Language and Literary Concepts
Chapter 3: “Benvenuti al Museo!: Italian Classes at the Princeton University Art Museum.” Daniele De Feo, Acting Director–Italian Language Program, Lecturer, Princeton University; Veronica White, Curator of Teaching and Learning, Princeton University Art Museum.
Chapter 4: “Old Things Considered: Museum Objects and the Study of Nineteenth-Century Italian Literature.” Ellen M. Alvord, Weatherbie Curator of Education and Academic Programs, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; Ombretta Frau, Dorothy Rooke McCullochProfessor of Italian, Mount Holyoke College.
Part III: Transforming the Social Experience of Language Learning in the Academic Museum
Chapter 5: “The Art of Languaging: The Museum as Language and Culture Classroom.” Lucile Duperron, Associate Professor of French and Francophone studies Department of Romance Languages, Dickinson College.
Chapter 6: “The Audacious Aesthetic Practice of Foreign Language Learning in the Art Museum.” Jodi Kovach, Curator of Academic Programs, Gund Gallery, Kenyon College; Leo Riegert, Associate Professor of German, Kenyon College
Part IV: Expanding the Space for Language Learning
Chapter 7: “Museum Visits for Beginning Language Learners.” Heather Flaherty, Curator of Education, The Trout Gallery Dickinson College.
Chapter 8: “Writing with Your Eyes: Multiliteracies and Community-Based Learning in an Art Museum.” Rosamaría León, Senior Lector 1 of Spanish, Yale University.
This is a book I have been waiting for! It makes clear that some of the most innovative work in museums comes from academic museums. These carefully documented and thoughtfully analyzed experiences that use objects to support language acquisition will undoubtedly lead to new partnerships across the country.
This excellent book about the museum as laboratory for language study is long overdue. Many museum staff have known for some time that college and university museums are often an untapped resource for many academic disciplines. The key, as demonstrated here, is to provide convincing case studies for faculty to grasp how language study at the Museum can take different forms that reflect course goals and levels of language skill. Student survey data make clear that the Museum has become a new kind of language lab.