ACADEMIC ENGAGEMENT

The Ashmolean is first and foremost a University museum.

We are committed to making our collections and expertise accessible for academic engagement at Oxford and in partnership with universities worldwide. The Museum is a world-class resource to enrich all kinds of intellectual enquiry, and our curators' scholarship contributes to teaching throughout the Oxford curriculum. 

THE ASHMOLEAN AND UNIVERSITY TEACHING

Ever since the Ashmolean opened in 1683, complete with an experimental laboratory in the basement, the museum's collections and keepers have played a vital role in the Oxford curriculum. Today, Ashmolean curators supervise doctoral research, convene seminars, give lectures, and teach classes and courses for the undergraduate and masters degrees.

In 2012, the Ashmolean University Engagement Programme, generously funded by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, began to re-imagine the Ashmolean's potential as a resource for academic engagement at Oxford and beyond.

Since then, new classes, new courses and new cross-disciplinary partnerships have broadened the range of subjects regularly employing object-centred learning in the Museum to include, for example, Medieval and Modern Languages, Geography, History, Tibetan Studies, Mathematics, Anthropology, Medicine, Business and English Literature.

As well as enhancing the degree programmes of Oxford students, these collaborations also offer the chance for their teachers to engage more deeply with the products of material and visual culture and the Ashmolean has become a key centre for faculty members and early-career scholars to develop their skills in object-based teaching and learning.

WHO WE ARE

Academic Engagement programmes at the Ashmolean are led by the Andrew W Mellon Teaching Curator, Dr Jim Harris.  Jim's background is as a historian of late-medieval and early-Renaissance sculpture but at the Ashmolean his remit is to put the entire range of the Museum's collections to work in the core teaching of the University, and to offer training and opportunities beyond the curriculum for undergraduate and graduate students and for early-career researchers.

Working with Jim behind the scenes to ensure the smooth delivery of classes and programmes, providing access to objects for teaching and administrative support is our Collections Assistant,  Ben Skarratt.  Ben is a historian, trained at the universities of Oxford and York, and has been with the UEP for several years.  His deep knowledge of the collections and the inner workings of the Museum are an invaluable resource.