1968: Political Posters in Paris
We all know students can learn as much from fellow students as from professors. Normally we imagine peer education taking place in the classroom, but Christine Corkran's project is evidence of F&M students teaching each other across time and space. In her final semester at F&M in 2005, Christine completed a ninety-seven-page research paper on the Parisian student movement in 1968 while mounting an exhibit, in the Curriculum Gallery of the Phillips Museum of Art, based on her research. Her thesis, awarded Honors by the History Department, is accessible in the F&M archives and online. (If you Google "Fouchet reforms" to learn more about the Minister of Education's proposals that helped provoke the French student revolt, Christine's paper comes up second.) Christine's exhibit in the Phillips Curriculum Gallery also continues to instruct. When teaching this period of European history, Professor Maria Mitchell uses it for two reasons -- to offer students an additional visual representation of the 1968 revolts and to suggest one of the myriad possibilities open to them to expand their educations while at F&M. Christine's work was especially valuable to Professor Mitchell in Fall 2014, when she directed the F&M in Paris program and visited the sites of 1968 events with her students. Christine did not become a professional historian nor does she build barricades for a living. Her experiences researching and writing her thesis as well as recreating for a museum one of the most dramatic scenes of postwar European history nonetheless have informed her professional success since graduation. In the same way she and her faculty supervisors learned from her project, her student successors at F&M continue to benefit from it as well.