Steven Lubar will be coming to speak at the New Media Seminar on Wednesday, April 11, 2012. His talk is entitled “Connecting Collections to Curriculum.”

Steven Lubar is Professor of History and American Civilization, Director of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, and Director of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Brown University. He has published extensively on the history of technology and material culture in the United States from the 18th through the 20th century. Additionally, Lubar has curated or co-curated numerous exhibitions at the National Museum of American History, including “America on the Move” (2003), “West Point in the Making of America” (2002), “Boomers and Fast Attacks: Submarines in the Cold War” (2000), and “Communities in a Changing Nation” (1999). The major themes of Lubar’s current research projects include the history of museums, material culture, 19th-century invention and technology, and digital humanities. He is currently working on a book on the history of curatorship.

Over the past two years as director of Brown University’s Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Lubar has focused on connecting the museum’s collections to the university’s teaching mission. To accomplish this, he has worked closely with faculty and converted a portion of the museum’s exhibit space into “CultureLab,” a combination open storage and hands-on area. In his presentation, Lubar will discuss recent initiatives of the museum to remake itself into a teaching museum, as well as the wider implications of this change for museums more generally. The reorientation of museums toward teaching and learning leads to new ways of viewing the assets of museums. Small and agile university museums have the potential to redefine museum work by breaking down traditional boundaries, creating new kinds of exhibits, and rethinking collections. New kinds of interdisciplinary exhibitions, new media both as presentation and as learning process, new ways of collecting, new kinds of collections, and programs that blur the line between exhibits and collecting, between the museum and the community, and between teaching and research suggest new possibilities for the future of the museum.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm. The presentation will begin at 6:00 pm.

RSVP is required. Please click on the registration link at the bottom of this page or contact

PLEASE NOTE that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. We also have overflow seating available; all registrants who arrive late will be seated in the overflow area.