History majors Caroline Byrd, C'14 and Nathan Westray, C'13 presented research papers they wrote in Dr. Whitmer's "Monsters, Marvels and Museums" seminar at the ACA-UNCA Undergraduate Research Symposium, September 20-21, 2013.
Byrd’s paper, The Ostrich Egg: A Vessel for Imagination, Invention, and Comprehending the Past, explored changes in collecting practices and the status of the collector from roughly 1200 to 1700. Westray’s paper, The Tablet, the Prince, and the Colonies: Examining French Colonialism in Western Africa through a Wooden Writing Tablet, considered the role and importance of collecting in colonial projects (in this case French Algeria) and the transference of artifacts across cultural boundaries.
Byrd and Westray went to Asheville as part of an interdisciplinary project, sponsored by the Appalachian College Association and UNC Asheville. Dr. Thompson (Art History), Dr. MacLaren (Art History) and Dr. Whitmer (History) first developed the project, entitled "Science and Art: Collections, Exhibitions and the Production of Knowledge," as a way of generating new approaches to interdisciplinary undergraduate research in the humanities on the campus of the University of the South--and beyond. Other student presenters included Wallis Ahern, C '13, Chloe Nigro, C'14 and Monique Stitts, C'15.
For more information, including abstracts of these papers, see the ACA-UNCA Symposium Program Book available as a link on the Symposium website.