Ashmolean Teaching Curator Dr Jim Harris led a fascinating session using items from the College Silver to explore how using objects in teaching, especially in a very text-focused academic setting, can lead to innovative and enlightening outcomes for students and their teachers.
With the assistance of Wadham's Darren Munt (Head Butler) and Dr Jane Griffiths (Fellow in English and Keeper of the College Silver), Jim gave an audience of students, fellows and their guests an outline of the history of a selection of objects from the Silver, inviting the group to explore them by observing their features and materials before inferring their purpose and significance. In doing so, it became clear to the group that it is all too easy to infer the purpose of things before taking the time to observe them objectively: a lesson useful for the consideration not just of objects but also printed texts.
Organised by Wadham’s Research Associates, Wadham in Objects uses Wadham’s intriguing objects to engage College members in the history of the College. ‘The College Silver’ is the third in an ongoing series, the next of which will take place later in Hilary term 2016.