Who's Using Collections?

Over the past decade, student interest in object-based learning has expanded the scope of our activities, generating a greater range of sensory experiences as well as certain kinds of knowledge. Through sensory engagement, we encourage the students to consider the museum and its collections as a place of knowledge creation and to be critical contributors to museum knowledge and histories.

We work with nearly 30 different courses per semester from a wide range of disciplines including Anthropology, History of Science, History of Art and Architecture, Human Evolutionary Biology, English, and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Some of these courses visit the museum just one time during the semester, while other courses and students have more intensive, weekly interactions with the collections and Academic Partnerships staff.

Selected courses that routinely use the PMAE collection:

Anthropology 1010: The Fundamentals of Archaeological Methods and Reasoning

  • Hands-on learning with museum collections in sections
  • Storage tours

Anthropology 1210: The Archaeology of Ancient China

    • Students research museum collections to collaborate on teaching display
    Ceramics: Amphora and the Figure
    • Annex tour
    • Student work inspired by Peabody Museum collections
    Culture and Belief 21: Pathways through the Andes-Culture, History, and Beliefs in Andean South America
    • Hands-on learning with museum collections in sections

    Expository Writing 20.226: Who Owns the Past?

    • Lectures on repatriation at the Peabody Museum

    Freshman Seminar 44s: Neanderthals and Human Evolutionary Theory

    • Hands-on learning with museum collections in sections
    • Tour of Paleoanthropology laboratory and collections
    Graduate School of Education H112: Cognitive Neuroscience and Education
    • Self-guided tours in museum galleries
    History 74j: Children and Childhood in America
    • Hands-on learning with museum collections in class
    • Students research museum collections for course projects

    Human Evolutionary Biology 1530: Hominid Paleontology and Evolution

    • Students research museum collections for course projects

    PSY 1502: Cultural Psychology: Exploring Social Identities in the U.S. and Beyond

    • Lectures on early anthropology and museum histories

    Science of Living Systems 16: Human Evolution and Human Health

    • Hands-on learning with museum collections in sections

    Spanish 35: Spanish for Latino students

    • Self-guided tours in museum galleries

    Societies of the World 30: Moctezuma's Mexico

    • Hands-on learning with museum collections in sections

    Studies of Women Gender and Sexuality 1424: American Fetish: Consumer Culture Encounters the Other

      • Students research museum collections to present individual research papers and also collaborate on virtual exhibition

      United States in the World 30: Tangible Things: Harvard Collections in World History

      • Students research museum collections to present individual research papers and also collaborate on virtual exhibition

      Anthropology 97x: Sophomore Tutorial in Archaeology (Various). This seminar course is required for all concentrators (or students who major in archaeology) and is taught each spring by members of the Archaeology faculty. Pedagogical goals of this course are to deepen and build student knowledge of archaeological principles as well as to develop skills of artifact study and analysis. Students in the Sophomore Tutorial work with Academic Partnerships staff and faculty over the course of the semester to research, design, and install a small public teaching exhibition as part of their final project.