Education Programs: Humanities Initiatives at Colleges and Universities

Period of Performance

2/1/2021 - 6/30/2024

Funding Totals

$149,961.00 (approved)
$147,711.00 (awarded)

Enhancing the Study of Visual, Material, and Historical Culture

FAIN: AA-277708-21

Goucher College (Baltimore, MD 21204-2753)
April Oettinger (Project Director: July 2020 to present)
Alex Ebstein (Co Project Director: August 2021 to present)

The creation of a “Collaborative Humanities Laboratory” as an online learning community for students to discover historical, visual, and material culture through Goucher’s  collections.

Goucher College requests a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support the development of Goucher’s Collaborative Humanities Laboratory (CHL), a physical and virtual storytelling “space” where students across humanistic disciplines will gather, curate, and present original scholarship centered on images, objects, and artifacts. Under the guidance of humanities faculty and in consultation with faculty in allied disciplines, Goucher students will serve as the acting curators of the Collaborative Humanities Laboratory. CHL projects will extend classroom learning through innovative and interdisciplinary projects that showcase applied, object-centered research in the physical lab space and in an on-line format. The Collaborative Humanities Laboratory will mediate between the classroom and the community by providing a front-facing physical venue and an online presence that will enhance the intellectual life of Goucher College and our outreach to Greater Baltimore.

Media Coverage

Lost Museum Goucher Quarterly Article (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Martha McLaughlin
Date: 1/28/2022

Associated Products

Rediscovering Goucher's Lost Museum (Catalog)
Title: Rediscovering Goucher's Lost Museum
Author: Goucher Galleries and VMC
Abstract: exhibition catalog for first investigation of the Goucher College collection and former museum, facilitated by the NEH Grant and other institutional and endowed funding.
Year: 2021
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: full pdf of catalog
Catalog Type: Exhibition Catalog
Publisher: Goucher College

Updated digital collection (Database/Archive/Digital Edition)
Title: Updated digital collection
Author: n/a
Abstract: updated digital database of the art and artifact collection
Year: 2022
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: link to digital library database

Rediscovering Goucher's Lost Museum (Exhibition)
Title: Rediscovering Goucher's Lost Museum
Curator: Alex Ebstein
Abstract: Collaborative exhibition exploring this history of the Goucher College encyclopedic collection and former museum in downtown Baltimore
Year: 2021
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: installation images, catalog essays and text panels written by curator, faculty and student curators

Inventing Nature (Exhibition)
Title: Inventing Nature
Curator: Goucher Students
Abstract: Humans are constantly changing. We’ve changed in how we view nature, and we’ve changed in how we view ourselves. Nature and culture are ever evolving, and Goucher has experienced much of this change itself. Our exhibition, a “Goucher Wunderkammer for the 21st century,” explores the power of specimens, artifacts, and art to tell stories of change. As part of Professor April Oettinger’s Complex Problem Exploration course, Inventing Nature (CPEC 213), students spent Fall 2021 understanding and exploring our home collections, which include the Natural History Collection (located in the basement of Hoffberger), Special Collections and Archives and The Art and Artifact Collection. Through trips to local museums such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, The Walters Art Museum, The Smithsonian Natural History Museum, and academic institutions such as The Johns Hopkins University, students were given the opportunity to explore different modes of display and cultures of collecting through history. What you see here before you is a carefully curated and arranged display of specimens, artifacts, and objects centered around themes of nature and artifice—naturalia and artificialia—and the blurred relationship between the two. Throughout the process of mounting this exhibition, students asked themselves about the relationship between humans and nature, what nature means to them, and how the natural world has shaped their own culture and values. Goucher students developed, researched, curated, authored, and designed every aspect of this exhibition. We wish to thank Alex Ebstein, Curator of the Silber Gallery; Professor Phong Le, Director of the Makerspace; Kristen Welzenbach, Curator of Special Collections & Archives; and Andrew Voytek, Director of Facilities; for their assistance and support. With special thanks to Professor April Oettinger for without, this exhibition would have never come to fruition.
Year: 2021
Primary URL: