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Internship in Material Culture, MCS329H1

MCS329H1 is an internship based course in Material Culture through which students participate in internships at both external and internal institutions such as museums, heritage collections, and private art collections. This opportunity provides a hands-on experience for students who get to work in close contact with different collections and materials. In addition to learning about material culture, students also get an opportunity for self-reflection which is an integral part of the internship experience. For every 25 hours of work experience, they report back to the professor to discuss their learnings so far, both in terms of course material as well as personal growth.

Internship in Material Culture MCS329H1

Image of Project by a student Niki Wickramasinghe called God of Wine from her project website https://dionysusdisclosed.wordpress.com/


Material Culture and Semiotics, Victoria College, Faculty of Arts & Science

Instructor / Program Coordinator

Professor Cathie Sutton


Academic Internship

Information for Interested Students

For more details, visit https://vic.utoronto.ca/academic-programs/upper-year-programs/material-culture/material-culture-courses/ or email Professor Sutton directly at cathie.sutton@utoronto.ca.

Benefits to Students

Students get the opportunity to directly work with materials and integrate their theoretical learning through practical application. They are able to use this as a stepping stone to enhance their education in material studies and consider potential future pathways. These internships provide students with the opportunity to identify their own strengths and interests.

Benefits to External Partners and the Community

The students gain professional training through their direct work with collections and materials and this skill is beneficial to their communities as they implement these professional practices for larger benefit. Students learn about the communities they are working with, which helps them better understand their surroundings and the people around them. They also work directly with many community members during the course of their internships and are able to appreciate their contributions better.

Benefits to the University

This program helps shape students into critical thinkers on how objects and materials shape communities, giving them a unique perspective on understanding the importance of objects in reference to civilizations. It is not just about objects and their preservation but rather about their interpretations and our relationship to them. Material culture is a growing field and this internship enhances the recognition of this minor beyond the university setting.

Advice for Faculty and Staff Interested in Creating a Similar Experiential Learning Opportunity

It is important to rely on your network for support in identifying and securing internship opportunities for students. It is ideal to find a variety of opportunities and assign them depending on each student’s interests and strengths, as students are being mentored and trained while they contribute to their respective community organization, museum or collections.