Cultural Trip to Dearborn

Cultural Trip to Dearborn

Academic Year:
2017 - 2018 (June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018)
Funding Requested:
$340.00
Project Dates:
-
Applicant(s):
Chair Uniqname:
Overview of the Project:
With assistance from the Instructional Development Fund, I will take the students from my cultural studies course AMCULT 311: Camels, Kabobs, and Kahlil Gibran to the Arab American National Museum (AANM) in Dearborn for a guided tour and a discussion about the museum’s role in representing the Arab American community, as well as meal of traditional Arab foods.

The trip will take place on Feb. 21, 2018, in conjunction with the “Exhibiting Arabness” section of the course. Prior to the trip to the AANM, the students will have visited the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology and the University of Michigan Museum of Art, where they will see how non-ethnic museums exhibit other cultures, particularly Arab and Middle Eastern cultures. The trip to the AANM will be to examine how an ethnic museum represents its own community. Since the thrust of the course is an exploration of how Arab Americans construct their own identities, a trip to the AANM in Dearborn is a necessary and vital part of the course.
Number of Undergraduate Students Affected Annually:
45 undergraduate students
Additional Supporters:
Evelyn Alsultany, alsultan@umich.edu
Budget Administrator:
Judy Gray, judygray@umich.edu
Final Report Fields
Project Objectives:
With assistance from the Instructional Development Fund, I traveled with my students to the Arab American National Museum (AANM) in Dearborn for a guided tour and a discussion about the museum’s role in representing the Arab American community, as well as meal of traditional Arab foods.The main objective is examine how an ethnic museum showcases and displays the history of its own community. Prior to the trip to the AANM, the students will have visited the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology and the University of Michigan Museum of Art, where they will see how non-ethnic museums exhibit other cultures, particularly Arab and Middle Eastern cultures.
Project Achievements:
The trip was a big success. Almost none of the students had visited the museum before, and many had never been to Dearborn. Having read about Arab American culture all semester, and having visited other museums in Ann Arbor, the time spent at the AANM brought many of the course themes to life. The conversation with museum staff and docents was equally as important. I think the University should more fully utilize the opportunity to engage with community-based organizations like the AANM.
Continuation:
This project was only for the winter semester 2018.
Dissemination:
The Program in Arab and Muslim American Studies sent a student photographer to cover the trip, and pictures have been posted on their online platforms.