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News - Inca Poster Exhibition


Try Saying Tawantinsuyu Fives Times Fast: Honors Students Stage Inca Poster Exhibition

—    by Jared Brickman

If you can pronounce Tawantinsuyu, Chinchasuyu, and Qullasuyu without hesitation, then you probably know quite a bit about the Incan Empire.

Thanks to Melissa Goodman-Elgar’s Global Issues in Social Science: Land of the Inca course, students in the Honors College at Washington State University can tackle these tongue-twisters to tell people a lot more about the largest empire in pre-Columbian America.

To further her students’ knowledge of the subject and hone their research and presentation skills, Goodman-Elgar, an assistant professor of archaeology who teaches courses for Honors, assigned students to create a poster for exhibition in class.

“The project emerged from working with students on locating Inca objects on the Internet,” says Goodman-Elgar, “and my observation that they wanted more opportunities to use creative and artistic skills in the class.”

Students had to find two examples of Incan artifacts.  From there, they wrote a formal introduction about the object, akin to what might be found in a museum.  Finally, full sourcing and documentation on how they found the information and any photographs had to be on the poster.

The exhibition was held in March, with half the class at their posters presenting, and the other half viewing and asking questions.  Students were challenged to identify common themes and motifs among the objects presented.

“Poster creation and presentation is a real-life skill used in academia and business,” says Goodman-Elgar.  “It’s a great skill for them to learn, and putting all that information side-by-side made it easy to spot trends in data.”

Goodman-Elgar has taught her Honors class on the Inca each spring since 2010.  She also teaches graduate-level courses in geoarchaeology and settlement/food production.

Inca Artifacts

  Artifacts of the Inca

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