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CROSSING BORDERS: Why Archival Science Students Benefit from Interdepartmental and Transdisciplinary Coursework

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Co-presented by Itza Carbajal and Emma Whittington at the annual 2017 Archival Education and Research Institute held at the University of Toronto Faculty of Information.

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CROSSING BORDERS: Why Archival Science Students Benefit from Interdepartmental and Transdisciplinary Coursework

  1. 1. CROSSING BORDERS: Why Archival Science Students Benefit from Interdepartmental and Transdisciplinary Coursework Archival Education and Research Institute (AERI) | July 10 - 13, 2017 | University of Toronto Faculty of Information Itza Carbajal | Master’s Candidate, University of Texas at Austin Emma Whittington | Master’s Candidate, University of Texas at Austin
  2. 2. About Us: Emma Dual Master’s degree candidate, University of Texas Austin School of Information and Department of Latin American Studies. Research focuses on archives of print histories, mimeograph technologies, and 20th century protest movements. Itza Master’s degree candidate, University of Texas Austin School of Information. Research focuses on community self-representation, digital archives, collective memory keeping.
  3. 3. 1. Discuss recent coursework 2. Provide critical reflections 3. Draw broader conclusions Why are we here:
  4. 4. Queer Archives Course Details Number of Students 12 total Academic Background Journalism Sociology Communications Anthropology English Studio Art Exposure to Archival Research 2 / 3 had little to no archival research exposure Degree Representation 3 graduate students 9 undergraduate students - Taught by Ann Cvetkovich, Spring 2017. Upper-level undergraduate course, cross listed in Women & Gender Studies and English Dept. -Based on queer and feminist theories that extend understanding of what an “archive” constitutes (archive as affect, ephemera, traces) -Course met twice a week for 1.5 hours at various sites across campus (classroom, HRC classroom, Benson Latin American Special Collections) -Independent and collaborative archival research of LGBTQ collections at the Harry Ransom Center (HRC) -Design and staging of public exhibit titled “Coming Out of the Archives,” at the HRC, using their collection materials
  5. 5. Moving between archival collections and literature, film, video, and visual art, this course will take up queer theory and research methods as it explores activist approaches to archiving, knowledge production, and art-making. -Cvetkovich, Queer Archives Syllabus “
  6. 6. Class Experiences ❏ Witnessed diverging ideas about the nature and function of archives between the humanities and archival studies lenses. ❏ Incorporation of more capacious understandings of “archives” ❏ Ability to demystifying archival practice
  7. 7. Class Experiences ❏ Interaction between two populations that otherwise would not likely have met ❏ Compared emerging paradigms to the practical experience ❏ Provided opportunity for listening to criticism of archival practices ❏ Witnessed deficiencies of archival tools (Finding Aid) ❏ Engaged in dialogue about access barriers
  8. 8. The bigger picture?
  9. 9. Background on Archival Studies at UT iSchool: ● Master’s degrees are are MSIS degrees ● 40 hours coursework ○ 9 hours ‘core’ coursework ○ 27 elective hours, 12 of which can be from outside the iSchool (no more than 6 from any one department) ● Few iSchool students pursue archives related extracurriculars ● Yet over 13 NON-iSchool courses offered at UT Austin in last 3 years contain “Archives” in the title
  10. 10. Conclusions
  11. 11. ❏ Considering joint publication: broadening to include professor and student viewpoints ❏ Begin formal data gathering phase ❏ Compare UT’s curriculum to other archival education programs in the U.S. ❏ Conduct participant interviews (ourselves, classmates, archival students, iSchool faculty) ❏ Involvement with our iSchool’s Curriculum Committee ❏ Conversations with faculty at UT Austin to encourage cross-listing of courses ❏ Encourage transdisciplinary co-teaching efforts What’s next:
  12. 12. [Archival studies] must be subject to continuous critical reexamination, empirical testing, and consequent reshaping. White & Gilliland, 2010 “
  13. 13. References Bastian, Jeannette A., and Elizabeth Yakel. 2006. “Towards the Development of an Archival Core Curriculum: The United States and Canada.” Archival Science 6 (2): 133–50. doi:10.1007/s10502-006-9024-4. Caswell, Michelle. 2016. “‘The Archive’ is Not An Archives: Acknowledging the Intellectual Contribution of Archival Studies.” Reconstrcution 16 (1). http://reconstruction.eserver.org/Issues/161/Caswell.shtml. Cook. 2009. “The Archive(s) Is a Foreign Country: Historians, Archivists, and the Changing Archival Landscape.” The Canadian Historical Review 90 (3): 600–632. Cox, Richard J., and Ronald L. Larsen. 2008. “iSchools and Archival Studies.” Archival Science 8 (4): 307. doi:10.1007/s10502- 009-9092-3. Gilliland, Anne, and Sue Mckemmish. 2004. “Building an Infrastructure for Archival Research.” Archival Science 4 (3–4): 149–97. doi:10.1007/s10502-006-6742-6. Gilliland, Anne J., and Hariz Halilovich. 2017. “Migrating Memories: Transdisciplinary Pedagogical Approaches to Teaching about Diasporic Memory, Identity and Human Rights in Archival Studies.” Archival Science 17 (1): 79–96. doi:10.1007/s10502-016-9265-9. White, Kelvin L., and Anne J. Gilliland. 2010. “Promoting Reflexivity and Inclusivity in Archival Education, Research, and Practice.” The Library Quarterly 80 (3): 231–48. doi:10.1086/652874.

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