Duration: 2017 – 2021
Emeritus fellows: TBA
Early career fellows: Dr Hannah Young
Working closely with V&A conservators, curators, collections management professionals and learning/interpretation specialists, the public engagement fellows will develop innovative practices aimed at activating any part of the Museum collections not currently on display, including new acquisitions.
Combining research, agile and responsive teaching, interdisciplinary collaboration, documentation, curation and communication, the fellows will focus on dormant holdings to model new ways of opening up the collections to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
Under-researched areas of the collections will be mobilised through a variety of experimental strategies – object-focused events ranging from live music and performances, through participatory games, to demonstrations and lecture-series – designed to bring the collections to life in innovative ways. These might include 'open house' sessions designed to bring objects to the attention of the public; focused university engagement programmes promoting object-based learning and fostering course collaborations across departments; interdisciplinary symposia and postgraduate workshops; practice-based research and collaborative making projects; community-led study and activity days.
Improved engagement with targeted hidden collections will in this way diversify our methods for offering access to objects and also enable the Museum to enhance through co-creation the bodies of knowledge we hold about collections materials.
Dr Hannah Young has transitioned from archival to object based research and in her current role as a Public Engagement Fellow with VARI, seeks to uncover some of the unexplored histories of the V&A. In particular, Hannah is investigating some of the links between slave-ownership and the development of the museum.