Steven Conn is the W. E. Smith Professor of History at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he moved in 2015 after spending twenty years teaching at Ohio State University. He has written widely about museums, about urbanism and urban culture, and about the relationship between institutions and ideas. He is currently working on a book examining the history of American business schools tentatively titled “The Beast That Ate Campus.”
In the nineteenth century, many colleges built museums along with libraries and lecture halls, seeing them as an essential part of a student’s education. In the early twenty-first century, campus museums are faring quite variously. Some thrive, others are neglected, while still others are the source of institutional difficulty and embarrassment. In this talk, Conn will explore the relationship between colleges and museums, between teaching and objects, and between students and the wider public.