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Saturday, June 1 • 9:45am - 12:00pm
(Discussion Session) Engaging with Allied Fields: Teaching Conservation in Allied Academic Departments and Degree Programs

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AIC and the conservation community are beginning to critically examine the values that drive our profession, as well as how we communicate the ethics, goals, and key concepts which form the core of modern conservation practice. Many practicing conservators teach and/or lecture for undergraduate and graduate programs in allied career tracks such as archaeology, art history, information and library science, museum studies, and the sciences. In most cases, the overarching aim is to introduce students to the field of conservation. However, contemporary conservation is a diverse and complex field, and it can be challenging to communicate relevant information in one term or, in the case of a guest lecture, a single class period. This interactive session critically examines the goals and methodology of teaching conservation information to non-conservation students, with the intention of beginning a collaborative, cross-disciplinary dialogue that will result in both theoretical and practical resources for conservators teaching in university settings.

The objectives of this session are to:

1) examine conservators’ shared pedagogical mission
2) explore how conservators interpret/communicate key values in class settings
3) assist teaching conservators with course content development and teaching strategies
4) launch a continuing dialogue about the goals of teaching, as well as its impact and efficacy

The session will utilize a non-traditional presentation format (a lightning round) as well as a guided, audience-participatory discussion. Empirical data from a survey on conservation and teaching will also be presented. In order to feature a variety of viewpoints and strategies, and to provide context and inspiration for the discussion, selected speakers who teach in a variety of academic departments will be solicited for the lightning round (should this session be accepted). Desired speakers include: Cathleen Baker, Sanchita Balachandran, Suzanne Davis, Ian McClure, Richard McCoy, Karen Pavelka, Gregory Smith, Reneé Stein, Eric Uffelman, and Emily Williams.

To provide a foundation for understanding and examining current trends in teaching and learning about conservation at the university level, the session chairs will present data from an online survey conducted in advance of the session. In brief, the goals of the survey are to learn how many conservators currently teach in allied programs, in what departments or settings they teach, and what they feel is most important to communicate to students. The resulting data will be used to shape questions for the discussion portion of the session. The audience-participatory discussion will comprise at least one third of the 90 minute session time and is designed to engage all session attendees in a conversation about shared goals when teaching students in allied career tracks, the desired impact of such teaching, and successful teaching strategies.

The session chairs plan to capture the thoughts and ideas generated by this session and make these available to a wider audience. Publication venues for this product could be an AIC blog post or a page otherwise available through the AIC website. The results of this session could also inform a white paper for the Education and Training Committee on teaching conservation to non-conservators at the university level.

avatar for Suzanne Davis

Suzanne Davis

Head of Conservation, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Univ. of Michigan
Suzanne Davis is an associate curator and the head of conservation at the University of Michigan's Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. Prior to joining the Museum in 2001, she was a conservator for the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the Naval Historical Center in Washington, D.C. She is a fellow of the AIC and holds graduate degrees in art history and conservation from the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Her... Read More →

Emily Williams

Conservator of Archaeological Materials, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Conservator of Archaeological Materials at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation 1995 to present. I have worked at museums and sites in England, Turkey, Australia, Egypt, Bermuda, Syria, Belgium and Iraq. Currently pursuing a PhD through the University of Leicester's School of Archaeology and Ancient History.

Saturday June 1, 2013 9:45am - 12:00pm
JW Marriott Meeting Room 101-102 10 S West St Indianapolis, IN 46204

Attendees (38)