Research Seminar: Knut Djupedal,19 June 2013

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

1 – 2pm

Location: 18 Windsor Terrace, Chester Room
Speaker: Knut Djupedal, director and curator, Norwegian Emigrant Museum

Born in 1948, emigrated to the United States as a child, returned to Norway as an adult. Educated in the United States and Norway, Knut gained Master’s degrees in both countries. After serving as a research associate with the Norwegian Research Council for the Humanities, he became director and curator at the Norwegian Emigrant Museum, a post he has held since 1991.

Knut has been chair of the Norwegian-American Historical Association in Norway (2006-2010) and the Association of European Migration Institutions (AEMI) (1996-2002). Has curated several exhibits at the Emigrant Museum, including: “The Norwegian-American Painter Bernhard Berntsen” (2005), “The Norwegian America Line” (2008), and “Mormons, Norwegians, the Handcart Pioneers, and Torleif Knaphus” (2009).

Knut has participated extensively in international projects, including “Routes to the Roots”, with NAUSA (Carl von Ossietzky) Universität Oldenburg, Germany (1994-1997); “Norwegians in New York 1825-2000,” with the Norwegian Immigration Association in New York, (1998-2001), and “Crossing Borders,” an EU-Interreg project with the Swedish-American Center, Karlstad, Sweden (2008-2011).

He has published articles on migration, folklore, media and culture and worldview in Norwegian, British and American scholarly journals, and co-authored “Amerikabilder” (Pictures from America) in 2008.

In this session of our research seminars for 2013, Knut will discuss how The Norwegian Emigrant Museum uses material and immaterial sources from its collections – and which for the purposes of the lecture, will include the museum’s historical buildings – to tell the story of Norwegian emigration to overseas destinations, in particular the United States.

For more information on the Norwegian Emigrant Museum, please visit www.emigrantmuseum.no  or www.hedmus.no

ICCHS’ PhD Candidate leads winning team at ‘Heritage Apprentice’ competition

Jared Bowers

Jared Bowers

Jared Bowers, a doctoral candidate within ICCHS, was recently part of the winning team at the ‘Heritage Apprentice’ competition in Wales.  The Heritage Apprentice ran from 3-7 June, 2013 and was part of the AHRC-funded Heritage Skills programme hosted by Swansea University’s Graduate Centre for Arts and Humanities.  Post-graduate students from across the nation were invited to apply for the world-leading and unique programme, modelled on the BBC TV series ‘The Apprentice’.  Jared was the team leader for a group who, alongside the other two teams, were given specific challenges associated with an exciting, heritage-led regeneration project focused on the site of the former Hafod-Morfa Copperworks in the Lower Swansea Valley.

Hafod Morfa Copperworks

Hafod Morfa Copperworks

Their idea was to transform the area into a community-led ecomuseum which would include a multi-purpose zone with various activities for its visitors.  The winning team will be ‘hired’ to undertake a two-week placement with Professor Huw Bowen later in the summer.  Jared is currently finishing up his Ph.D. which focuses on using ecomuseology principles to support sustainable tourism development in the Rupununi region of Guyana.  He also works as a Research Assistant on a project involving intangible cultural heritage and tourism at Edinburgh Napier University.

For more information, please visit:

http://www.swansea.ac.uk/riah/graduate-centre/academic-development/heritageskillsprogramme/heritage-apprentice/

http://www.welshcopper.org.uk/en/

Rock Art CARE Project Fieldwork

Dr Patricia Warke uses an XRF machine to analyse rock composition

Dr Patricia Warke uses an XRF machine to analyse rock composition

The project team at Roughting Linn; left to right, standing B. Christgen, D. Graham, P. Lewis, J. Roberts, and M. Giesen; seated: P. Warke and A. Mazel

The project team at Roughting Linn; left to right, standing B. Christgen, D. Graham, P. Lewis, J. Roberts, and M. Giesen; seated: P. Warke and A. Mazel

The Heritage and Science: Working Together in the CARE of Rock Art project completed its first data collection exercise at the end of May. The team included Professor David Graham, Dr Aron Mazel, Dr Myra Giesen, Dr Beate Christgen and Peter Lewis from Newcastle University, Dr Patricia Warke from Queen’s University Belfast and Dr Jennifer Roberts from the University of Kansas.

The team visited several rock art sites in Northumberland in order to gather scientific data on the contributing factors to rock art decay, such as mineralogical data. These data will be analysed at Queen’s University Belfast and, from the results, a shortlist of “risk factors” for rock art will be further refined. The first draft of a “tool kit,” which will enable individuals to assess the condition of rock art, also was piloted with the intention to test the ease of collecting this information for a non-expert in the field.

Next, the project will gather together rock art enthusiasts for a focus group on Saturday, 29th June in order to further test and refine the tool kit. If you know of anyone who may be interested in participating in the focus group, please do get in touch. The next fieldwork will conducted in Scotland in July, with the aim of expanding and improving our scientific understanding of rock art erosion.

ICCHS PhD alumna mentioned in AAM keynote address

Michelle Stefano with the Hagerstown, Maryland, baseball team's mascot, Woolie B. There is a meaningful connection between Woolie B and the Hagerstown Almanack, the 2nd oldest in the US and going since 1797: you can see all about it here, in this video (6 mins) Michlle produced: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BfA1OOhaCY

Michelle Stefano with the Hagerstown, Maryland, baseball team’s mascot, Woolie B. There is a meaningful connection between Woolie B and the Hagerstown Almanack, the 2nd oldest in the US and going since 1797: you can see all about it here, in this video (6 mins) Michlle produced: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BfA1OOhaCY

On May 20th, Freeman Hrabowski III, the President of the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), gave the keynote address at the American Alliance of Museums (formerly the American Association of Museums) annual meeting at the Baltimore Convention Center. The theme of this year’s meeting was the Power of Story, and in front of over 5000 attendees, President Hrabowski spoke of his own stories of growing up in the segregated South, participating in the Children’s March of the Civil Rights Movement when he was 12, and how museums can play many roles in storytelling, educating and amplifying a wide range of voices to be heard.

For his address, President Hrabowski consulted with ICCHS alumna (2010), Michelle Stefano, the Folklorist-in-Residence within the American Studies Department at UMBC. He noted:

“In preparing for my talk today, I spoke with a number of my faculty colleagues, including Michelle Stefano, who focuses on art and culture and has worked in several museums in Europe and New York.  She told me that there are roughly 55,000 museums worldwide (according to the International Council of Museums), and approximately 17,500 in the U.S. (according to the Alliance).  And given these numbers, she commented, “Museums can certainly be considered a popular human endeavor.”  She went on to ask,

Nonetheless, what is it about museums that has us caring so much?  Is it simply some deep need to collect and put on display an infinite amount of ‘things’?  Is it the long-standing history of museums serving as the storehouses of our rich and diverse heritage, protecting the past for future generations?  Is it the space they provide for learning, cross-cultural communication, and dialogue?  Or is it also about the present: making the much-needed connections, mostly in intangible form, with the communities, groups, and individuals who embody cultural knowledge, values, shared memories, and experiences outside museum doors?”

At the end of his address, he referred back to his conversation with Michelle by also noting:

“Today, as we think about museums and the power of story, it’s important to consider the connection between power and authority – and how that relates to the storytelling museums do.  As my colleague, Michelle Stefano, said to me,

Stories are seldom static; they can change along with time and with those who embody, know, and are telling them.  Similarly, our stories are greatly influenced by social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental forces.  In recent decades, museums across the world have become increasingly responsive to breaking down what arguably have been the more ‘official narratives’ of history, statehood, and commemorated and memorialized events, and have become more inclusive of multiple voices: the expansion of one narrative to include many more, especially those that have been traditionally marginalized, hidden, and/or forgotten.  Museums are moving away from generalizing the past and moving toward reflecting the complexities of the contemporary world outside.”

In addition to teaching courses on ethnography, heritage and museums studies that have at their focus community-based research and collaboration, Michelle also works as the Program Coordinator for Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council. When consulting with President Hrabowski, she drew on the knowledge she gained during her PhD experiences within the North East of England, where she examined the potential for 12 regional museums to effectively safeguard living, or intangible, heritage, as well as her more recent experiences working with numerous cultural communities in helping to safeguard their living cultural practices and expressions across the state of Maryland. Michelle is happy to invite any ICCHS students and alumni in the Baltimore/DC area to the Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival on Saturday, June 15th at the Creative Alliance in East Baltimore (more info here: http://www.msac.org/detail.cfm?nid=625 )!