Building upon our innovative approaches to teaching and practicing Public History, the History Department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is proud to announce an exceptional project called Museum on the Move. Public History students will outfit a vintage Airstream trailer (left) with an interpretive exhibit that will then hit the road to take history directly out of the classroom and to the public. Exhibits will be created on a rotating basis and require the melding of two courses and a cohort of students.
The first course will be a traditional history course where students conduct research projects geared toward the planned exhibit. The next phase of the project is for a Museum Studies course where students re-craft the research done in the first class to create exhibit components that they will install in the trailer. Once the exhibit is up and rolling, the trailer will be sent out on short runs to venues around the state where the students’ (and the program’s) work will be on display.
The first planned exhibit will be on Louisiana Women and it is being timed to coincide with the publication of Louisiana Women: Their Lives and Times, Volume 2 (University of Georgia Press) being edited by the department’s own Dr. Mary Farmer-Kaiser. Students currently enrolled in her course on Louisiana Women are pursuing their studies with an eye toward the future exhibit and are excited to be a part of something with such potential for hands-on success. In the end, it is our intent for the program to teach students the methods and value of creative approaches to practicing history and to establish a recognizable product in the form of rotating exhibit topics in a compelling package. The trailer has been purchased, the class is underway, and everything is coming together.
~ Bob Carriker, University of Louisiana at Lafayette