CFS Program: Field Studies in the Humanities
I have really enjoyed my Chicago Field Studies experience at the Chicago History Museum this quarter. It has allowed me to explore a field that I didn’t know very much about before. As a curatorial intern, I have been assisting in the creation of a new exhibit by researching general information and resources on blues music and inventorying photos from a recently acquired collection. It’s interesting to see how exhibits are created and are able to educate such a wide variety of people.
My favorite part about working at the museum is getting to work with the many objects in collections. I think that people can gain a lot of knowledge by reading about history, but being able to physically interact with historical objects really helps to connect with the past and gain a deeper understanding. Museums also allow people to see many connections between disciplines across time periods. For example, I got to see George Washington’s family songbook from the 18th century. It showed a lot about the time period not only through the music written on the page, but also through the paper that it was written on, the ink that it was written with, and the language that was used.
This internship paired with the class in humanities has made me think about the fact that every object and idea has a story behind it. It’s really important to understand history to interpret the world around us today. It is also important to realize that we are continuously writing history through our ideas, actions, and the objects that we leave behind. Although I plan to continue studying biology, I can take these research skills and this mindset into the future.