Historical Geographies – A Photo Blog

By Cheryl McGeachan

My week began by marking an assessment relating to the moving text The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Attic Hospital by Darby Penney and Peter Stastny Photographs by Lisa Rinzler. This book, which charts the extraordinary discovery of hundreds of suitcases in the attic of the abandoned Willard Psychiatric Centre, captured the students’ imagination as they sifted through documentary sources relating to three of the patients whose suitcases had been discovered – Lawrence, Margaret and Rodrigo.

Cheryl Image 1

My Historical Geographies: Care, Conflict and Confinement class had their first field class this week. We were invited to explore the wonders of the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow in order to think more carefully about working with objects in historical research.

We started by speed-dating with some of the objects from the museum.

cheryl Image 2

Then were encouraged to explore the museum through a treasure-hunt activity.cheryl Image 3

My week ended with another trip to a museum, this time the Nation Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. In preparation for my teaching on war and conflict next week I looked for inspiration in the Scottish History and Archaeology galleries. Intrigued by the delicacy of many of the objects and the stories they still continue to reveal, I am excited to introduce these objects into my course in later weeks.

Cheryl Image 4

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