History and University Museum Partner to Enhance Learning and Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

Bertabel Dolls Exhibit
Photo Submitted

Bertabel Dolls Exhibit

The Department of History and the University of Arkansas Museum have launched a new partnership to integrate museum collections into the department's teaching mission and to celebrate diversity and inclusion in the department. 

The collaboration between these two units, both housed in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, will feature a rotating collection of "Treasures from the University Museum" in the Department of History's office in Old Main 416. 

Many of these exhibits will focus on the department's diversity and inclusion efforts as well as illustrate the variety of pieces available for faculty to utilize in their courses. 

For example, February's exhibit celebrates Black History Month with a display of four Bertabel Dolls. In the late 1960s, I. Roberta Bell, a Chicago schoolteacher, created a set of 26 dolls to help teach African American history to her students. 

Each doll was created in the likeness of African Americans who made significant contributions to history but were not well represented at the time. Bell became the first African American artist to join the National Institute of American Dolls Artists because of her work.

"The Department of History is pleased to establish this partnership with the University Museum, bringing their rich collections into our space and integrating everything from Ming Dynasty Chinese Porcelain to American Civil War military artifacts to Roman pottery to Pre-Columbian Native American artifacts into our teaching of history," said Jim Gigantino, professor chair of the department. 

Laurel Lamb, curator of the University of Arkansas Museum, echoed his support for this partnership, saying that "we look forward to the new perspectives and teaching experiences this collaboration will foster."

The University Museum maintains extensive collections totaling 7 million objects in the fields of archeology, ethnography, geology, history and zoology. Over the next year, the Department of History and the University Museum will also collaborate on creating exhibits focusing on specific courses taught in the department in display cases in the lobby of the fifth floor of Old Main, providing easy access for students and faculty to utilize the university's collections in their teaching.

Contacts

Jim Gigantino II, chair
Department of History
479-575-7332, jgiganti@uark.edu

Headlines

U of A, MLK Council Partner for MLK Legacy Events

A slate of events will include a food drive, memorial service, and virtual freedom march to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Weatherby's Law Article Offers Legal Framework to Examine School Discipline Reform

Associate professor Danielle Weatherby's new article, "Student Discipline and the Active Avoidance Doctrine," has been published in the newest issue of the University of California Davis Law Review.

U of A Hosts Nobel Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus on Jan. 22

The economist Muhammad Yunus will talk with students and community members about microfinance and social business during a lecture at 8 a.m. CST Friday, Jan. 22, via Zoom. RSVP for the event.

New Drug Delivery System Targets Spinal Cord Injuries

Young Hye Song, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, has been awarded a grant to improve treatments for spinal cord injuries by developing a new drug delivery method using stem cells.

Campus Community Invited to Participate in National Day of Racial Healing

The U of A's Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Center invites the campus community to celebrate the fifth annual National Day of Racial Healing on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

News Daily