Report on CAA 2016, Washington DC

AHPT hosted A Signature Pedagogy for Art History in the Twenty-First Century, a look at the impact of new technologies on the training of the next generation of art historians.

Please contact presenters directly:

Neatline: Syllabus as Interactive Visualization
Caroline Bruzelius, A. M. Cogan Professor of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies
Hannah Jacobs, Multimedia Analyst, Wired! Lab
Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies
Duke University

How can student engagement with course material change when a syllabus is taken from a static page and placed in an interactive visualization? In Spring 2015, the teaching team for Duke University’s Introduction to Art History explored this question with Neatline, a visualization plugin for the Omeka content management system. Neatline combines temporal, spatial, textual, and other visual media forms, enabling users to create interactive non-linear visual narratives. The course teaching team (Professor Caroline Bruzelius, teaching assistant Joseph C. Williams, Multimedia Analyst Hannah L. Jacobs, and Resource Specialist Lee Sorensen) used Neatline to transform what might otherwise be viewed as a perfunctory list of course topics into an interactive visualization that incorporated spatial and temporal data, lecture slides, readings, images, and videos. Making the course content available in this way highlighted for students spatial and temporal relationships across art historical narratives.

“Challenging the Canon: Using a Digital Platform for a Survey of World Architectures”
Solmaz Mohammadzadeh Kive, M. Arch., Ph.D. Candidate in the College of Architecture and Planning
University of Colorado Denver

This presentation discussed an on-going digital pedagogy project aimed at harvesting two main potentials of the digital media for teaching World Architecture: resisting the Eurocentric grand narrative of ‘Architecture’ and developing students’ critical thinking skills. It introduced a pilot project built on the University of Virginia Library’s Neatline and used as a digital platform for teaching Histories of World Architectures in which students navigated the material through various paths to explore different historical, geographical, and thematic layers. While the instructor was responsible for supplying materials, his or her main effort shifted from delivering information to helping students navigate through the material, analyze it, and thus develop critical thinking skills (while at the same time understand the reductive process involved in any history making).

“The Implications of Augmented Reality in the Art History Curriculum: The Future of the Next Generation of Art Historians”
R. Dean Turner, Ed.D.
The Art Institute of Austin

Art History is constantly evolving within our current social media infatuated and digital society. Can we involve our students within the learning process while generating an interest in a subject matter often seen as a humanities requirement? As art historians we must analyze our curriculum within this changing environment. When beginning as a teacher of survey courses some fifteen years ago PowerPoint was so newer of a technological tool, as well as the Internet and their use within the classroom. I recall a recent article which I read discussing how MIT researchers had developed an algorithm to assist in the categorization of artistic styles based on characteristics of specific artists, a course objective we all emphasize daily within our classroom curriculum. A debate ensued over the necessity of art historians and what we provide as educators. This paper investigated research concerning augmented reality and its implications to the art history curriculum, its development, and the role of the educator within the process.

Related: follow this link to read How Have New Technologies Shaped the Introductory Art History Classroom? Why Does It Matter?” in CAA’s Art Journal OPEN.

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