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exhibit, digital exhibit, pedagogy


Studying exhibits offers students many entry points for critically evaluating information and images. They are also effective tools for engaging students in research to better understand how to refine their research questions and construct compelling narratives. This poster focuses on the use of the online women’s suffrage themed exhibit Underpinnings and Equal Terms to teach undergraduate students visual and information literacy skills and engage them in archival research. Using this exhibit curated from archival and special collections materials as a starting point, students in an introductory Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies course explored how the overarching theme and subnarratives were developed. Specifically, students were asked to consider the sections of the exhibit focused on intersections between women’s suffrage activities and circuses. In unpacking the research process required to create the exhibit, students learned about evaluating visual materials and understanding their value apart from and alongside written sources. During this multipart session students completed reflective essays to evaluate the iterative process of research and document their inquiries, consider historical contexts, evaluate visual materials and other primary source documents, and formulate their own research questions.


This poster was presented at the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) Ohio Valley and Midstates Chapters Conference, October 13, 2021 (virtual).



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