Recollecting Our Past: St. Louis Bosnians a Generation after the War
GS 451: Internship in Global Studies
3 Credit Hours + stipend
Partners: Center for Bosnian Studies, Taylor Library – Fontbonne University and Cliff Cave Branch – St. Louis County Library
Fontbonne’s Center for Bosnian Studies in partnership with the Cliff Cave branch of the St. Louis Public Library and supported by the Council for Independent Colleges has developed a semester-long internship experience for Fontbonne undergraduates.
The internship involves roughly 100 hours, comprising a mix of asynchronous online learning and in-person work in the library. Because it is an internship, the course will emphasize practice and experience over theory.
During the course of the semester, students will be introduced to the field of public humanities, become familiar with the evolving history of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the St. Louis diaspora, explore the physical and digital collections held by the Center for Bosnian Studies here at Fontbonne, and develop some basic archival skills (processing, preservation, and digitization). Students will also engage in discussions and exercises that build on one another—effective research, contextual understanding, and critical analysis—to hone the skills of the curator, archivist, or public historian. The work will enhance students' abilities to communicate the past (and present) in clear and concise ways, through a variety of mediums and for different audiences.
Public history encompasses a variety of approaches that all involve to some degree the collection, preservation, and interpretation of history for a general and diverse audience. Public historians are trained professionals who may work as museum curators, educators, historic site interpreters, archivists, oral historians, community activists, film and digital media producers, or historic preservationists. They may be employed at nonprofit organizations, cultural institutions, corporations, government agencies, and as independent consultants.
Because the internship is tailored to students' preferences and priorities, the objectives of the semester are arguably individual and evolving. We hope each will:
- Become familiar with the recent history of Bosnia and the St. Louis diaspora.
- Become familiar with the mission, aims, activities, and collections of Fontbonne’s Center for Bosnian Studies.
- Experience public history through first-hand participation, observation, class activities, readings, and working with one another.
- Learn new research and interpretive skills by researching the Bosnian war, genocide, and migration through primary and archival sources.
- Develop knowledge and skills in at least one area of the field of archival or museum studies (e.g., description, preservation, oral history, digitization).
- Develop material for diverse external audiences.
- Apply course content by creating a physical and/or online exhibit featuring the Center’s collections.
- Develop a new service-learning opportunity that supports Fontbonne’s mission and builds upon the general education curriculum, Culture and the Common Good.
- Enhance the reach and impact of the Center for Bosnian Studies.
- Raise awareness within St. Louis’ Bosnian community about the Center’s mission, resources, and methods.
- Reach new audiences for the Cliff Cave branch and the St. Louis Public Library.
- Lay the groundwork for future programs and collaborations.
The internship experience consists of online discussions, hands-on work, online work with one or more of the library’s online platforms, a project log, and a final written reflection. It incorporates a variety of instructional methods and activities, including reading assignments, handouts, documents, audio and video clips, and/or presentations.