Students and their exhibitions at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum.

Students curate an exhibition at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum

The College of Humanities encourages innovative assessments beyond the traditional essays and exams which allows students to demonstrate a range of skills. In the level 3 Film Studies module ‘British Screens’, students are able to curate their own exhibitions for public display in a museum. 

‘British Screens’ examines the history of the moving image in Britain through the collections of The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum at the University of Exeter. The accredited museum holds over 75,000 items and is open to the public seven days a week as well as being a research resource.

This is the first year that the module has run and it is convened and taught by the museum’s curator, Dr Phil Wickham. 25% of the grade for the course is based on the group exhibition and this year, three groups put together displays. The students chose the theme within the parameters of the course, researched and selected the artefacts from the collection, and designed and documented the display.

Elizabeth Trout is an English undergraduate student currently studying the British Screens module. She comments, “As a student studying English, the British Screens curatorial project was a type of project that I had never experienced before. I thoroughly enjoyed the project and thought that the challenges it presented were new and exciting.”

Dr Phil Wickham adds, “We have been encouraging student volunteers to curate exhibitions for some years but it has been great to have curation as an assessed activity. The students’ exhibitions really demonstrate both their talents and hard work on the course and the depth and range of our collections in the museum”.

The exhibitions cover the coming of the talkies to Britain; a comparison of British art house directors since the 1980s and their compatriots who went to Hollywood; and the evolution of the heartthrob and male hero for British audiences since 1920. The exhibitions are open to the public in the foyer of the Research Commons in the Old Library until the beginning of June.

Date: 7 April 2014

Read more University News