Lynn Verschuren

Research title

Multisensory Interpretation in Museum Displays: Evaluating Digital Engagement with Burrell’s Late Medieval Collections

Research summary

Research Interests:

  • Museology
  • Digital Humanities
  • Affective and Material Turn in Heritage & Museum Contexts
  • Late Medieval Devotion
  • Material Religion
  • Human-Object Engagement

Late medieval devotional objects were inherently interactive, engaging both the body and the mind. The practice of museums, however, both within the UK and without, to present medieval objects as decontextualized objets d’art engenders an often-irreconcilable distance between viewer and viewed, not just physically, through glass vitrines, ropes and demarcated pathways, but above all emotively. Adopting a materialist approach to late medieval devotional practice, my project explores the potential of digital intermediaries in overcoming that distance and fostering, instead, more lasting, empathetic engagements with the late medieval past. In doing so, I am working collaboratively with The Burrell Collection, Glasgow, whose late medieval collections I am using as the basis for developing digital interventions that I am testing in ‘live’ cultural heritage contexts to assess their impact on diverse audiences’ engagement with late medieval artefacts. 


Grants

  • Applied Research Collaborative Studentship (ARCS) - SGSAH
  • John Farish Prize, 2014 - Best Finalist Performance in Medieval Studies & Historical English Language