Have you ever wondered about how museum, library, and other kinds of historical or scientific collections all come together? Or how and why curators, historians, archivists, and preservationists do what they do?
In Tangible Things , you will discover how material objects have shaped academic disciplines and reinforced or challenged boundaries between people. This course will draw on some of the most fascinating items housed at Harvard University, highlighting several to give you a sense of the power of learning through tangible things.
By “stepping onto” the storied campus, you and your fellow learners can explore Harvard’s astonishing array of tangible things—books and manuscripts, art works, scientific specimens, ethnographic artifacts, and historical relics of all sorts. The University not only owns a Gutenberg bible, but it also houses in its collections Turkish sun dials, a Chinese crystal ball, a divination basket from Angola, and nineteenth-century “spirit writing” chalked on a child-sized slate. Tucked away in storage cabinets or hidden in closets and the backrooms of its museums and libraries are Henry David Thoreau’s pencil, a life mask of Abraham Lincoln, and chemicals captured from a Confederate ship. The Art Museums not only care for masterpieces of Renaissance painting but also for a silver-encrusted cup made from a coconut. The Natural History Museum not only preserves dinosaur bones and a fish robot but an intact Mexican tortilla more than a century old.
In the first section of the course, we will consider how a statue, a fish, and a gingham gown have contributed to Harvard’s history, and you will learn the value of stopping to look at the things around you.
In the next section, we will explore some of the ways people have brought things together into purposeful collections to preserve memory, promote commerce, and define culture.
Finally, we will consider methods of rearranging objects to create new ways of thinking about nature, time, and ordinary work.
Along the way, you will discover new ways of looking at, organizing, and interpreting tangible things in your own environment.
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Sara Schechner, Ivan Gaskell, Sarah Carter and Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Start your review of Tangible Things: Discovering History Through Artworks, Artifacts, Scientific Specimens, and the Stuff Around You
Anonymous completed this course.
Tangible Things at Edx (Harvard-x)
It was a great course, very refreshing. It covers about 400 years of historical items. This reflects how society and the culture gathers, collects, and exhibits ancient artifacts. The Teaching Duo (pair) is a good one....
Tangible Things at Edx (Harvard-x)
It was a great course, very refreshing. It covers about 400 years of historical items. This reflects how society and the culture gathers, collects, and exhibits ancient artifacts. The Teaching Duo (pair) is a good one. Prof Laurel Thatcher Ulrich and Sarah Carter are both wonderful.
Lessons Learned from this course.
Every week, every Lesson is a surprise ! They cover diverse, eclectic subjects.
My favorite Lessons were on - A Toga, Hidden in Plain Sight, Time and Time Again, Orphan Sewing Machine, and ‘Whose Collections and Heritage ?’
The Teachers speak well and have a fine appearance. They are classy, pleasant, and use color and aesthetics to their advantage. They are Feminine, honorable, and reflect the taste and style of an Ivy League College.
Innovation and change. They divided the Discussion Thread into smaller parts, so a student posts HW (Essays) to only 100 classmates, not 500. This makes the student feel welcome and “At-Home” in a virtual classroom. It also SAVES a lot of your time, avoiding hangups, lockups, BSOD, a system Crash.
Recommend this as a very first MOOC, or 1st course in Edx. In it you discover the Nuances of a MOOC, how to post an image (Photo) with your text.
The students are polite and friendly, and the Support Team is dynamic. If you contact the HELP team, you may get an answer in 2-3 days. I’ve only seen this short of a response time at Harvard-x. If you report a problem at other schools, you may not hear from them.
If you want to be successful, hang out with Successful people. If not possible, then take this course. These two ladies will entertain and surprise you, with one amazement after another. They plant new ideas in your head that are useful for almost any occupation.
Harvard once again sets the standard, raises the Bar, and leads the way for better learning.
Irena Makarushka is taking this course right now and found the course difficulty to be very easy.
This is a great course for high school students or perhaps first semester college students. They will learn a great deal. It is really far too simple or even simplistic for anyone with a degree.
Sheri Havens completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
I took this as a self-paced class. I found Professor Ulirch's class quite interesting. The class has you looking at items with a new perspective.
Aana completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.