In 2013 the Museum's Traveling Trunk program increased by over 900%, reaching over 9,000 participants through the program. The Museum received a grant in the fall from the Mississippi Humanities Council that made a big impact on the future of programming here at the Museum. The grant funded the creation of a new Traveling Trunk specifically designed with high schoolers in mind exploring the life and literature of Oxford's own William Faulkner.
The trunk contained classroom sets of a Rose for Emily and Barn Burning by Faulkner and was primarily based in a study of literature; however, it also provided social studies historical components as students gained a greater understanding of Faulkner and his work within a historical context. The trunk included reproductions of photographs, films, and a 1918 typewriter similar to one that would have been used by Faulkner. An unpublished map of Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County was included, and the typewriter and the map were noted as favorite resources of participants.
After an initial presentation to a small audience of stakeholders, the trunk was shared with a variety of different students and teachers in Oxford and beyond. Though primarily designed with high school students in mind, the trunk was actually presented to a variety of audiences including all University of Mississippi senior student teachers (225) and 4th grade students (180) at D.T. Cox Elementary School in Pontotoc, MS. The trunk was shared with senior English students (50) at Oxford High School to receive in-depth feedback on the trunk’s effectiveness. Additionally, it traveled to West Jones High School (186 students) in Laurel, MS and North Pontotoc High School (450 students).
We would like to thank the Mississippi Humanities Council for their generous support of this program, and we look forward to continuing to share the trunk and find innovative ways to reach new audiences.
This program is financially assisted by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Mississippi Humanities Council.