ACADEMIC ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES
The Ashmolean Faculty Fellowships, funded by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, carry an award of £2,000 and offer faculty members and early-career researchers from any department or college of the University a residency in the Museum of one day per week for one term, to undertake collections-based research aimed at developing new, object-led teaching at undergraduate or postgraduate level.
During their residency, Fellows are integrated into the life of the curatorial departments, given training in object handling and have access to curatorial support along with the collections database and reserve collections.
Having suspended the programme during the Covid-19 pandemic, we hope to start hosting Fellows again in the academic year 2022–23 and would welcome inquiries and applications.
Please contact the Teaching Curator, Dr Jim Harris, for details of the re-started scheme.
We are delighted to say that object-centred, study-room teaching is once again possible at the Ashmolean. We welcome enquiries from faculty members in any discipline, at Oxford and beyond, who are interested in working with Ashmolean Curators and using the Museum’s collections and study rooms for teaching university classes and courses.
Study Room Teaching
The Museum’s study rooms are located in the four curatorial departments: Western Art, Eastern Art, Antiquities and the Heberden Coin Room.
Jim is able to work with you on class planning and delivery, and to connect you with Ashmolean Specialist Curators who can also give guidance and support for object-based classes and courses, and can collaborate in cross-disciplinary teaching. The Academic Engagement team is able to provide training in object-handling and object-centred teaching and advise on the suitability of collections material for study-room use.
For the purposes of classes deploying object-handling, the maximum number of students that can be accommodated at any one time is 12, but constraints may vary from department to department. Room bookings and arrangements for invigilation are handled in each instance through the relevant Departmental Administrators and Study Room Managers, who will be able to advise on capacity.
Should you wish to work with a specialist curator in order to develop teaching collaboratively, or if you require guidance concerning which parts of the collections might be useful and accessible, please contact email@example.com
It is happily the case that there is heavy demand for study room space and time. As a result, we cannot guarantee to accommodate all requests. If you wish to plan Museum-based teaching, therefore, we advise that you contact us in the term before your proposed class.
Members of faculty who wish to teach classes independently and have already identified relevant objects from the collections are welcome to book a study room in the appropriate curatorial department, who will be able to provide guidance on protocol and invigilation during the class.
If you wish to teach a class or tutorial in the Museum’s public galleries, you are welcome simply to bring your students and get to work.
However, if you plan to bring a group of more than 10, then please first contact firstname.lastname@example.org in order to avoid clashes with other groups who may be using the gallery spaces.
The Ashmolean is a founder member and key partner of Cabinet Oxford's award-winning online study and revision platform for university teaching.
Faculty members using the collections in teaching can use Cabinet to curate images of a selection of objects alongside related material, enabling students to access and study them remotely. The platform allows users to annotate images and add further resources, making this a richly interactive, crowd-sourced, digital environment. For more information about Cabinet, please visit the website of the University's Centre for Teaching and Learning.
In addition, the Ashmolean's Online Collections represent a growing resource for students and faculty members to familiarise themselves with the contents of the Museum.
Eloquent Things is a short course intended as an introduction to the principles and practice of teaching with objects, comprising four mornings spread over a single week in the study rooms and galleries of the Ashmolean Museum.
The course is offered through the Humanities Division Doctoral Training Programme but is also open to postdocs and ECRs from other divisions. Members of faculty interested in learning more about collections-based teaching are also welcome.
The Ashmolean Junior Teaching Fellows are the leaders of Krasis, an award-winning programme designed to bring together early-career researchers and undergraduates in a series of cross-disciplinary symposia held at the Ashmolean and centred on objects from the Museum’s peerless collections.
The Fellows have come from disciplines as diverse as Music, Japanese Studies, Material Physics, French and Anthropology, usually after undertaking the Eloquent Things course. The participants in the symposia are the Krasis Scholars, undergraduate or Master’s students from any subject and at any stage of their university career.
The programme involves a commitment to five Wednesday afternoons per term for two terms and a preparatory meeting in 0th week. During the Covid pandemic, Krasis met online but in Michaelmas 2021 we have returned the programme to the Museum, its objects, galleries and teaching spaces.
Ahead of term, the Teaching Fellows meet together to choose a shared theme and as the term progresses they each spend time with the Teaching Curator to prepare their individual symposia. Part of each cohort of eight Fellows is retained for the succeeding iteration of the programme, so three to five new Fellowships are offered each term.
To apply to be an Ashmolean Junior Teaching Fellow please contact the Teaching Curator, Dr Jim Harris, at email@example.com for an application form.
Applications for any given term are open from the beginning of the preceding term until 5pm on the Friday of 8th week.
Talking Sense was an interdisciplinary research project for the 2018-19 academic year, developed by a group of early-career scholars in partnership with the Ashmolean Museum.
The project brought together a group of DPhil students and post-doctoral scholars from different academic disciplines to explore the subject of the senses in museum-based workshops leading to the writing and delivery of a series of research-led, public gallery talks.
Talking Sense was completed in 2019, but click here to find out more about the project and see Talking Emotions to find out about more recent work in Public Engagement with early-career research.
Talking Emotions was an interdisciplinary research project for the 2019-20 academic year, offering a unique opportunity for DPhil students and post-doctoral researchers to enrich their own research and public engagement skills through in-depth engagement with the Ashmolean Museum’s collections.
Through a series of workshops and object-handling sessions, participants explored the theme of emotions in relation to their research interests, with a view to delivering a series of public gallery talks on an object of their choice.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, these talks were presented as podcasts which are now available here.
Click here for further details on the project.
Talking Memory was the 2022 edition of the series of ECR-led public engagement talks and events that began with Talking Sense. It was funded by generous grants from the PER Seed Fund/Wellcome ISSF and the TORCH Humanities Cultural Programme.
The project focused on memory, storytelling and the potential for the Museum to serve as a space for increasing wellbeing in our older audiences.
The Ashmolean Public Engagement with Research Associates, who came from English, Experimental Psychology, Archaeology, Oriental Studies, History and History of Art dived deep into the lives of objects from the collections in order to devise in-museum events for senior visitors, including gallery talks and discussions, extended conversations and practical activities.
The Krasis Scholars are the principal participants in Krasis, an award-winning programme designed to bring together early-career researchers and undergraduates in a series of cross-disciplinary symposia, held at the Ashmolean Museum and centred on objects from the Museum’s peerless collections.
Krasis Scholars are undergraduate and masters students from any discipline and at any stage of their university career. It is they who make Krasis tick, who ask the questions, find the answers and make the arguments from the unique standpoint of their own disciplinary specialism.
The programme involves a commitment to five Wednesday afternoon symposia over the course of a term, and a preliminary meeting in 0th week. During the Covid pandemic, the programme moved online but in Michaelmas 2021 returned to the Museum, its collections, galleries and teaching spaces.
Sixteen Krasis Scholars are invited to join the programme each term. To apply, please contact the Teaching Curator, Dr Jim Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form.
Applications for any given term are open from the beginning of the preceding term until 5pm on the Friday of 8th week.
You can read about the Krasis experience in this blogpost by Mary Caple, who was a Krasis Scholar in Hilary 2019 or by visiting the Krasis Blog, begun during the programme's online life in early 2021.
You can also follow us on Twitter @AshmoleanKrasis.
Our Museum Our Voices (OMOV) is a key outworking of Ashmolean for All, the Museum's commitment to embrace a wider range of community and university participation in the life of the Museum, building greater equity of access to and ownership of our collections.
In Our Museum Our Voices we acknowledge that neither the museum nor the interpretation of its collections are the exclusive property of its curators, and we invite others to share their responses to objects alongside those already visible in the public galleries.
The first iteration of the programme, under the guidance of archaeologist and former UEP Administrator Penny Coombe, was led by a cohort of undergradate and graduate students in the University who locate themselves within a wide range of diverse ethnicities and/or a wide spectrum of LGBTQ+ identities, and places their voices at the centre of the museum's displays and collections.
The OMOV 2020 team wrote and curated a series of alternative labels, presenting their own perspectives on particular objects in the collections - perspectives which have historically been marginalised in the Ashmolean's public galleries. The labels were installed in December 2020, forming an OMOV trail around the galleries accompanied by an online exhibition.
As the Covid pandemic continued, we worked with a team of sixth formers from Oxford schools, whose labels can now be seen in the galleries. Over the course of the coming months we will invite a new group to take Our Museum Our Voices into 2022, looking at the world embodied in the Ashmolean collections from the standpoint of Oxford's rich and diverse Islamic communities.
We will need your experience, insight, and enthusiasm to make this happen. If you're interested in joining us, or would like to learn more, please get in touch with us at UEP@ashmus.ox.ac.uk
It will not be necessary to be a member of the University to participate in OMOV 2022, though University students and faculty are welcome to apply.
If you're interested in volunteering at the Ashmolean, then your starting point should be the Joint Museums Volunteer Service, which coordinates a pool of volunteers across all the Oxford University museums.
All our volunteering opportunities are advertised through the Volunteer Service, so please see their website for more information.