Hall Center For The Humanities


Fall 2003 Faculty Colloquium: Information Session & Luncheon

"Collecting and Collections: Interdisciplinary Perspectives"

Mon., Feb. 10, 2003, 11:30am
Location: Hall Center Conference Room
Fall 2003 Faculty Colloquium: Information Session & Luncheon

Co-directors: Marjorie Swann, English, and John E. Simmons, Natural History Museum

I collect, therefore I am: in recent years, scholars in a variety of disciplines have come to study collecting as an important social practice. The founders of the Smithsonian and the British Museum, internet junkies searching for Beanie Babies on eBay, scientists gathering natural history specimens in Central America, the youngster obsessed with filling her stamp album: all collectors are engaged in complex processes of identity formation. By selecting, gathering, and arranging groups of objects, we make the world meaningful and define our own relationship to it.

The Fall 2003 faculty colloquium will explore the ways in which the practice and rationale of collecting have functioned to create social meanings in different cultures and historical periods, and how collecting continues to shape our lives in the twenty-first century. As a flexible, dynamic process, collecting can creatively bridge categories that we might normally consider separate: art and science, Western and non-Western, synchronic and diachronic, the material and the textual, the private and the social, the nation and the individual, the experiential and the tangible. In the spirit of interdisciplinary study, we would especially welcome papers that explore collecting as a practice that crosses conceptual boundaries. In addition to faculty members in the arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences, members of the KU community involved in curating, librarianship, and collection management are encouraged to participate. The co-directors hope that the essays developed for this colloquium will become the core of an edited collection.

The Hall Center is soliciting applications from graduate students interested in presenting a paper at the 2003 Fall Faculty Colloquium on Collecting and Collections. One student will be selected to participate in the colloquium, which is a scholarly gathering built around an interdisciplinary theme. Participation in the colloquium is juried through a competition sponsored by the Hall Center and is considered an honor for the student invited to participate and present a paper. Attendance at all sessions of the colloquium is required.

The colloquium will meet Thursday afternoons in the Hall Center Conference Room between 3:30-5:00 p.m.

For further information contact the Hall Center (864-4798) or come to the Information session.

The Information Session and Luncheon will be held on February 10, 2003 at the Hall Center.

Please RSVP for a lunch via email to hallcenter@ku.edu
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