by Jennifer Hilder (PhD Intern)
The theme of Cultural Education is an interesting one because, in a way, a lot of research done through the College of Arts could come under this category. Culture is a very broad term and it can be used in different ways in different contexts. Here, culture can mean either the ideas and customs of a particular society (e.g. Scotland or Japan) or intellectual achievements (e.g. art).
Mungo Campbell is the Deputy Director of the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow as well as being the Theme Lead for Cultural Education. At Industry Day 2013, Mungo emphasised the range of activities that are possible in the College of Arts through our connections to organisations like Glasgow Life, the Centre for Open Studies, and the Glasgow Science Centre. (See Mungo’s YouTube video from Industry Day.) Most importantly, and closer to home, we have access to the fantastic Special Collections archive in the University Library as well as the archives of the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery themselves. As Mungo said, Hunter’s collection covers ‘almost everything you could imagine’.
The Hunterian Associates Programme challenges Postgraduate Researchers to do just that: imagine. It allows them to use the whole range of collections to express their creative ideas. The research and ideas that result are communicated to the public through talks, open days, and exhibitions. One team of researches collaborated on a sound and visual installation to accompany the recent Hagar and the Angel exhibition at the art gallery, providing audiences with exciting new ways of engaging with the material.
Cultural Education is not only about giving audiences a new perspective, but giving new audiences a perspective, too. The college supports life-long learning through the Hunterian and through the Centre for Open Studies and tries to take scholarship into the wider community in Scotland. Academics from the college have contributed to the Scottish History in Schools website, a resource for teachers and pupils, and helped to develop a vast online database about medieval Scotland. The college strengthens ties to traditional cultures through their promotion of Gaelic language speaking and research into Gaelic learning and speaking.
The work done in the college also allows us to build ties with other cultures and places outside of Scotland. Not too far away, in Edinburgh, Margaret Tejerizo translates and advises on performances using Russian, French, Spanish and Romanian at the International Festival. Dr Saeko Yazaki teaches Japanese culture to children in Glasgow and is working on documenting the experience of Islamic culture in everyday British life. The college also enjoys a 25-year relationship with Christie’s Education in London in teaching art, style and design.
Cultural Education, then, is an opportunity for the college, for researchers, and for the outside world to find new ways of expressing themselves.