The Museum Of Everything

A production of The School of History of Art for the University of Edinburgh’s Innovative Learning Week.

Day four report

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THE CONVERSATION in the Museum of Everything has been good. Very good, in fact – yesterday, for example, a long, complex and deeply felt discussion about social class in Scotland, or today, some fascinating reflections on art history pedagogy from both staff and students, while throughout, lots on the pros and cons of our so-called Innovative Learning Week. Something about the space seemed to help conversation. The clock wasn’t ticking, so it didn’t have the pressure of a class or a normal appointment. There was always a distraction of some kind, often music. And there was the project itself, which had a sense of progress and direction through the week. There was always something to get a conversation going, and people were more candid than they might otherwise have been.

I did quite a bit of work in the space, too – student meetings, correspondence, updating the blog. The Museum was a fine background for all that – I used in the same way many people use a cafe as a de facto office desk. There’s an acceptable level of distraction. It was a laboratory like environment that is common in other bits of the university (physics, fine art, veterinary medicine) but in the humanities is unusual, where we conventionally think of scholarship as monastic and solitary. The Museum showed it doesn’t have to be like that.


Written by rwilliam

February 21, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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