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TransAtlantic Collaboration Project

July 11, 2016
Eldon House

Huron Embarks on TransAtlantic Collaboration

Huron University College is embarking on a unique and exciting new project set to roll out to students during the fall term of the 2016/2017 academic year.   HUC history students will have the unparalleled chance to collaborate with students across the pond at the University of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England. 

Using skype, social media and other digital platforms, groups of students will work collaboratively to create digital history displays.  In England, work will focus on original historical objects from the Skelmanthorpe Textile Heritage Centre, a small privately-owned museum in a former weaver’s cottage in West Yorkshire. On the other side of the Atlantic, research will involve artifacts from Eldon House, the historic downtown London museum that was once home to four generations of the Harris Family. 

Dr. Paul Ward, professor of Modern British History and Head of the Department of History, English Languages and Media at the University of Huddersfield has been working with Huron University College History Professor Dr. Amy Bell for months in an effort to get this program off the ground.

“We’re constantly looking for partnerships and ways to make our work exciting,” says Dr. Ward.  “This is our first international partnership with Huron.  It’s quite unique.”

Dr. Ward explains that both universities are similar in that they challenge students to think about the community outside of campus:  “Both Huron and Huddersfield give students the community based learning experience.”  This task at hand gives both British and Canadian students the chance to think about where they live in a completely different way.  “They are part of a much bigger history.” Dr. Ward says.  Using 3D images of historical artifacts, students will research, organize and digitally display objects from the Victorian Era. The end result: an online exhibition.   “This is a unique opportunity for Huron to deal with this kind of personalized research exchange and a chance to build professional skills,” explains Dr. Bell.

“Students are thinking globally but at the same time, thinking digitally as well,” explains Dr. Ward.  “They are empowered to think globally for themselves and encouraged to think about expanding their own possibilities.”

The benefits of participation in this program extend beyond the classroom and into the lives of these history majors as they venture out into the world after graduation.

“We are inspiring tomorrow’s professionals,” says Dr. Ward.  “This is all part of their employable skills.  They’ll have an international example of collaboration with others.  Dr. Bell agrees.  “This is unparalleled research at the undergraduate level,” she says.  “This will help them create a professional portfolio.”

History and media will collide in this exciting project beginning in the fall of 2017.