有形事物:通过艺术品、手工艺品、科学标本和身边的物品发掘历史

Tangible Things: Discovering History Through Artworks, Artifacts, Scientific Specimens, and the Stuff Around You

用新方法观察,组织和理解你所处环境的有形物质。

哈佛大学

edX

历史

简单(初级)

5 周

  • 英语
  • 1258

课程概况

人们通过他们收获、创造、采集、展览、交换、抛弃或忽略的事物创造历史。400多年来,哈佛大学积累了大量的有形事物,包括书籍和手稿、艺术品、科学样本、人类学手工艺品、各类历史遗迹等。这座大学中不仅拥有谷登堡版圣经,还精心收藏了土耳其日晷、中国水晶球、安哥拉的占卜篮、以及19世纪在一个孩童大小的板子上的粉笔“神符”。藏在储藏柜深处、或是隐匿在壁橱之中,抑或是在博物馆和图书馆库房当中的还有亨利?戴维?梭罗的铅笔、亚伯拉罕?林肯的脸模塑像以及南部联邦船只上搜缴的化学药品。美术馆中不仅会打理文艺复兴时期的油画,还有用椰子壳做得镶银杯。自然历史博物馆中不仅会保存恐龙骨骼和仿生机器鱼,还有一个世纪之前的完整的墨西哥玉米饼。

通过学习这些物品如何以及为什么会出现在这些地方,你将会发现实物对学科会产生怎样的影响,并对人与人之间的边界如何加强或形成挑战。本课程中不会用到所有这些物品,但还是会以部分物品为例,让学生感受通过有形事物学习的力量。

在第一部分中,我们将思考一尊雕像、一条鱼、一袭条纹长裙会对哈佛历史产生怎样的影响,你也会学习驻足对周遭的事物进行观察的重要性。
在接下来的部分中,我们将学习人们出于保存记忆、推广商业和定义文化的目的,进行有意识的收藏的部分方法。

最后,我们还要考虑重新排布物品的方法,以便创造思考自然、时间和日常工作的新方法。
在此过程中,你将发现对自己环境中的有形事物进行观察、组织和诠释的新方法。

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.

你将学到什么

Understanding of museum curation approaches

The basics of historical analysis and interpretation

A sense of the work that historians, curators, and collectors perform

Strong critical thinking and analytical skills

How things that seem to belong to different disciplines actually can “talk” to one another

How close looking at even a single object can push beyond academic and disciplinary boundaries

How things that may seem unrelated to each other can show relationships between art and science, economics, and culture, as well as between people in many different parts of the world

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