Anthropology and photography at the American Museum of Natural History

Haidy Geismar, NYU Anthropology and Museum Studies
On using blogs in class…
I’m a big fan of using blogs for teaching with – it’s a great way of bringing the students into contact with each other’s ideas, generating community, and potentially engaging in dialogue with other people outside of our class, and even the university. NYU has a blog service which allows an unlimited number of blogs for all registered users and which is extremely flexible and user friendly. Whilst I usually use blogs as a way for students to discuss each other’s assignments and share relevant news stories and other links, I sometimes also use them as forms of web publication, as in the case of this site.
As a class assignment, each student in my class Anthropology in and of Museums (taught at the NYU Program in Museum Studies in Spring 2009) was given an image to research. Barbara Mathé, the Museum Archivist and Head of Library Special Collections and I selected the images. We gave them to the students and encouraged them to think at first purely from the image: what could they learn not only from the content of the image, but the way in which it has been annotated, catalogued, curated, and archived. Following these leads, each student conducted original research into their images. These are their stories.

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