My undergraduate student intern has completed her installation of photographs from the first days of the Berlin Wall in a show she calls Halt! Grenze. She did fantastic work and the show is generating a fair amount of foot traffic already. Her show is part of a larger effort called Freedom Without Walls, sponsored by the German Embassy.
Speaking to my student today just before her show’s opening, it was clear that the internship accomplished everything that it should have. She gained a much greater understanding of a whole variety of issues related to both history and art history (we’re a combined department here at Mason). When I asked her what she thought was the most important thing she learned, she said it was the complexity of copyright issues in our two fields, particularly with respect to digital matters. Who knew that an internship in art history could end up helping a student learn a lot about copyright and fair use?
Needless to say, I’m very proud of my student and am already thinking about what new internships I can come up with. If you haven’t taken on an intern for this sort of one-on-one scholarly work, I highly recommend it as an alternative to the standard independent reading that is so ubiquitous in history departments around the country.