Incorporating local groups, be they artisan collectives, public school debate clubs, or senior civic associations, by curating galleries and hosting film series encourages integration of university professionals and students and the intellectually curious community beyond campus.
When we speak about service in academia, typically we refer to serving on university boards and graduate committees. A holistic approach to service necessarily encompasses a far broader community. At Cornell, my dissertation research yielded a wealth of rare Italian East African ephemera, I shared this work by moving from researcher to curator, putting together a display as part of the Cornell Libraries’ Europe in the World: Perspectives on Communities exhibit. This exhibition framed European identities and communities within the broader theme of globalization. Reframing my research as a concise visual display for a mix of academics and community members resulted in a new piece of writing, “Consuming the Body Politic: East Africans in 1930s Italian Mass Media.” In 2012, I managed the curation of three different exhibits: “Consuming Food in Space: Historical and Cultural Representations of Eating and Drinking from the Johnson Museum’s Permanent Collection” at the Johnson Museum, as well as “Italianissimo: Avant Garde Food Advertising” and “Menu Morsels” at the Olin Kroch Rare Books Library. For a small sampling of the exhibit content – watercolor menus, silver spoon warmers, pugno nell’occhio (“punch in the eye”) advertising and the like – please see Conference Organization.