While my core work focuses on city museums, I have a lot of varied interests. I think that’s a good thing. Here are a handful of recent projects:
Museums & Creative Practice With co-author Linda Norris I’m writing a book about making museums, and museum workers, more creative. It’s part manifesto, part tool-kit, to be published by Left Coast Press in 2013. Follow our progress here.
You Are Here: Archiving Providence in the Present I curated this psychogeography exhibition in collaboration with graduate students from Brown University’s John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities. It imagines an alternative version of the city archives, one that preserves soundmarks, mental maps, everyday experiences, and even A Card Catalog of Providence Longing.
The Secret Life of Objects Creative writing about objects, written from their point of view by my students in the Tufts University Museum Studies graduate program. Website coming soon.
Mapping Revolutionary Boston An interactive map, available online and through a mobile app, that I developed in collaboration with Wellesley College’s Martha McNamara while I worked for the Bostonian Society. Still in prototype form, it envisions a richer, more complex story of Boston on the eve of the American Revolution than the one that can be told within the physical limitations of Boston’s Freedom Trail.
Thomas Sees the World My five-year-old cousin wants to be an explorer when he grows up. Since he’s stuck in elementary school for the foreseeable future, I help him explore the world from his computer, one city at a time. It turns out having an audience of one can yield tremendous insight.
“The American Revolution in Boston: A Blessing and a Curse” in Museums and Difficult Heritage, proceedings of the 2011 annual conference of the International Committee of Museums and Collections of Archaeology and History (Forthcoming)
“Muistojen Talot: Kaupunginmuseot ja Kaupunkihistoria” (Memory Houses: City Museums and City History), Katri Lento and Pia Olsson, eds, Urbaani Muisti. Tulkintoja Kaupungista Kokemuksellisena Tilana (Urban Memory: Interpretations of the City as Representational Space), Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society (Forthcoming, in Finnish)
“Smart and Dumb Cities,” CAMOC News, International Committee for the Collections and Activities of Museums of Cities, issue 2, 2012, p. 8
“Do History Museums Still Need Objects?,” History News, American Association for State and Local History, Summer 2011, p. 19-24
“Coming to a Street Corner Near You,” website guest column, Finnish Society for Urban Studies, August 2010
Co-Chair, “Widespread Mergers: Could It Happen in the US?,” American Association of Museums 2012 annual conference
Co-Chair, “Multisensory Museum Learning,” New England Museum Association 2011 annual conference
“This Time It’s Personal: City Museums and Contemporary Urban Life,” International Committee for the Collections and Activities of Museums of Cities 2011 annual conference
“How To Build a Better City Museum,” Urban History Exhibited symposium, Den Gamle By, Aarhus, Denmark, 2011
“What To Do with the Stephen Hopkins House,” guest lecture, Shrine, House, or Home: Rethinking the House Museum Paradigm, Brown University Public Humanities Program, Professor Ronald Potvin, Fall 2011
“The Revolution in Boston: A Blessing and a Curse,” International Committee of Museums and Collections of Archaeology and History 2011 annual conference
“Toward the Creative City Museum: Some Field Notes,” International Committee for the Collections and Activities of Museums of Cities, at the International Council of Museums 2010 general conference
“Museum Mapping Projects,” guest lecture, Museums and Online Learning, Tufts University Museum Studies Graduate Program, Professor Cynthia Robinson, Spring 2010
“Women’s Identity in History: A Museum Perspective,” Women’s History Month Lecture, American Resource Center, Finland National Library, 2010
“City History, City Identity, and City Museums,” America In Living Color Seminar, University of Tampere American Studies Department, 2010
“Museum Collections,” guest lecture, Museums Today: Mission and Function, Tufts University Museum Studies Graduate Program, Professors Cynthia Robinson and Laura Roberts, Fall 2008, 2009
Chair, “Museum Mapping Projects: Charting a New Course,” New England Museum Association 2009 annual conference
“Museums and Gender,” guest lecture, Gender and the Visible World in American History, University of Michigan History Department, Professor Carol Karlsen, Fall 2005
“Writing Exhibition Text,” guest lecture, Exhibition Planning, Tufts University Museum Studies Graduate Program, Professor Ken Turino, Spring 2003-2005
Co-Chair, “Collections: 20,000; Staff: 1—You’re Outnumbered!,” a collections care session for small museums, American Association of Museums, 2006 annual conference