Curating Exhibitions as Public Scholarship

Public Scholarship workshop on exhibitions advertisement, Nov 25, 12-1:20PM PST, with photo of two people looking at red wall with 16 illustrations of interacting humans arranged in a gridThis moderated conversation will discuss how to create an exhibition. Panelists will demonstrate the process of developing a scholarly exhibit as a new mode of research at varying skill levels, how to work with a variety of tangible and intangible objects, how to work with various institutions, and more. The recording of this event will be added to our Exhibitions Toolkit.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. The conversation will be hosted via Zoom. A link to the event will be sent to the email given in your RSVP.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020
12:00 – 1:20 PM (Pacific Time)
Online via Zoom
RSVP here


On Libraries & Literary Objects

Presentation 1: “The ‘so what?’ factor: Public Scholarship at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections”

Dr. Gregory Mackie is Associate Professor of English at UBC, where he also serves as Norman Colbeck Curator at its Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections. He has published widely on Oscar Wilde, and is most recently the author of Beautiful Untrue Things: Forging Oscar Wilde’s Extraordinary Afterlife (University of Toronto Press 2019), which reimagines literary forgery not as crime, but as fan fiction. He has curated several exhibitions Rare Books and Special Collections, the most recent of which was “A Queer Century, 1869-1969,” a celebration of queer cultural history in the century before Stonewall and the Canadian decriminalization of Homosexuality. That exhibition was mounted at both UBC campuses from June 2019 to January 2020.

Chelsea Shriver is a librarian at Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library. Her primary role at RBSC is to provide research and instructional support to UBC students and faculty and the general public. She also coordinates and implements a number of RBSC’s outreach activities, including tours and public exhibition and events.

Presentation 2: “Displaying Research: The Teacher as Curator”

Dr. Alvaro Santana-Acuña is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Whitman College (USA). He studies how people use objects as vehicles for the transmission of dominant cultural values and norms. He is the author of Ascent to Glory: How One Hundred Years of Solitude Was Written and Became a Global Classic (Columbia University Press, 2020), a study of the imagination, production, and circulation of One Hundred Years of Solitude, one of the best-selling novels of all time. He is the curator of “Gabriel García Márquez: The Making of a Global Writer,” the first major exhibition featuring documents from the García Márquez’s archives, alongside other materials by Faulkner, Hemingway, Joyce, Woolf, Borges, and Cortázar.

On Museums & Community Collections

Presentation 3: “The Linear, The Virtual, & The Game: Digital Exhibits”

Dr. Nicola Levell is an associate professor of museum and visual anthropology at UBC Vancouver, an independent curator and a Public Humanities Hub Fellow (2020). Her research focuses on exhibitions, public/performing arts and storytelling. She has curated exhibitions and art installations in the UK, Portugal, the USA and Canada. Her most recent exhibition Shadows, Strings & Other Things: The Enchanting Theatre of Puppets won the 2020 Canadian Museum Association’s award for outstanding exhibition.

Anna Nielsen is a graduate from the University of British Columbia Faculty of Anthropology with a concentration in museum studies and is pursuing a Master of Management from the Sauder School of Business and a Master of Museum Education at UBC. She has found her passion for increasing accessibility to all forms of arts and culture and her most recent project involves developing the virtual exhibition Shadows, Strings & Other Things: The Enchanting Theatre of Puppets with Dr. Nicola Levell.

Presentation 4: “The Museum Without Walls: A Case Study”

Michael Schwartz is Director of Community Engagement at the Jewish Museum and Archives of BC, where he has produced innovative public programs including exhibits, walking tours, a dinner series, and a food-themed podcast series. He was named a Changemaker by the BC Museums Association in 2017 and his work creating the Cross Cultural Strathcona Walking Tour earned him and his team the 2019 BCMA Award for Excellence in Community Engagement. As Vice President of the Heritage Vancouver Society, Michael is on the leadership team overseeing all HVS public programming. Since 2010, Michael has been curator at Kafka’s Coffee and Tea, where he has curated exhibits by over 120 local artists.


Dr. Shelly Rosenblum is Curator of Academic Programs at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Inaugurating this position at the Belkin, Shelly’s role is to develop programs that increase myriad forms of civic and academic engagement in the University, the wider Vancouver community and beyond. Shelly received her PhD at Brown University and has taught at Brown, Wesleyan and UBC. Her awards include Fellowships from the Center for the Humanities, Wesleyan University and a multi-year Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Department of English, UBC. She was selected for the Summer Leadership Institute of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (2014). Her research interests include issues in contemporary art and museum theory, discourses of the Black Atlantic, critical theory, narrative and performativity. Her teaching covers the 17th to the 21st centuries. She remains very active in professional associations related to academic museums and cultural studies, attending international conferences and workshops, and recently completing two terms (six years) on the Board of Directors at the Western Front, Vancouver, including serving as Board President. At UBC Shelly is an Affiliate of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies.