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Exhibit: Cultural Heritage through Image

The Cultural Heritage through Image project was born out of a pedagogical experiment applying the principles of cultural heritage to teach the premodern and out the personal belief in the art and power of photography. Project leader Dr. Kisha Tracy is Associate Professor of English Studies at Fitchburg State University, specializing in medieval and early world literatures. In addition, she is an amateur photographer. When traveling as a medievalist and premodern scholar, she photographs the sites she visits. Cultural Heritage through Image developed out of the realization that this photography was informed by the expertise of the photographer and communicated much about the significance of its subjects.

The focus of the project is to parallel through image the ancient to medieval cultural heritage stories from other countries, particularly in Europe, to the cultural heritage stories of local communities, particularly centered on New England. Students and community members select premodern cultural heritage they wish to study from a photo taken by Tracy. After researching this initial heritage, they then explore the purpose, function, and deeper meanings of this heritage in order to connect it to local heritage with similar characteristics. Contributors create their own researched exhibition notes, focused on the connections they have made, that are included in the digital exhibition of the project. Photographs of the local heritage are taken by students, community members, and Tracy. This physical exhibition is unique in that the notes are highlighted as much as the images. Participants in the project have included students at Fitchburg State, community members from various New England cities, Boys and Girls Club students, historical societies, and libraries. In the exhibition here at the Scandinavian Cultural Center, the entries are all focused on Scandinavian medieval cultural heritage.

In this exhibition, ideas about overarching concepts of cultural heritage are clearly evident. Contributors note how the values of cultures are encapsulated by cultural heritage and ways these values of different time periods can be analyzed, particularly through image.

On display through January 2020. (email for viewing times)