Wesley Chenault, Candidate for Nominating Committee

Professional Experience: Head, Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2011 to present. Library Research Associate, Archives Division, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, 2008–2011. Archivist, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center, 2004–2008. Assistant Project Archivist, Herndon Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2002–2004. Archival Assistant/Academic Professional, Women’s Collections, Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library, 1997–1999, 2001.

Education: PhD, American Studies, University of New Mexico, 2008. MA, Women’s Studies, Georgia State University, 2007. BA, Psychology (cum laude), Auburn University, 1992.

Professional Activities: Society of American Archivists (SAA): Diversity Committee, 2011–2014. Academy of Certified Archivists: co-chair, Task Force on Diversity, 2011 to present. Mid-Atlantic Archives Conference (MARAC): Local Arrangements and Program Committee, Fall Conference, 2012. Society of Georgia Archivists (SGA): Editorial Board, Provenance, 2010 to present; Education Committee, Chair, 2010–2011; Nominating Committee, 2009–2010, 2007–2008; Scholarship Committee, 2008–2009, 2006–2005; Education Committee, 2006–2005; Annual Meeting Committee, 2003–2004; Membership Committee, 2003–2004; Contributing Editor, SGA Newsletter, 2003–2005.

Selected Publications:

Article, “A Queer New South City: Placing Lesbians and Gay Men in Mid-Twentieth Century Atlanta,” in Queer South Rising: Voices of a Contested Place, ed. Ugena Whitlock (Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, forthcoming). Entry, “Male Stereotypes and Social Class in the American South,” The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, vol. 20, eds. Larry Griffin and Peggy Hargis (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2012). Review, Laura Ann Stoler, Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense in Provenance vol. XXIX, 2011. Article, “More than a Credential,” Archival Outlook, July/August 2011, and ACA News, issue 74, Summer 2011. Review, Craig Thompson Friend, ed., Southern Masculinity: Perspectives on Manhood in the South since Reconstruction in Journal of Southern History, vol. 76, no. 3, 2010.

Selected Presentations: Chair, “Diversity in Archives,” panel discussion, MARAC Fall Conference, 2012. Panelist, “Fostering a Diverse Profession: Mentoring and Internship Programs,” SAA Annual Conference, 2011. Panelist, “Building Bridges: Collecting and Preserving African American LGBT Culture and Community,” ALMS (Archives Libraries, Manuscripts, and Special Collections), 2011. Guest Lecturer and Workshop Instructor, “Activating the Archives,” John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Brown University, 2011. Panelist, “Sound and Motion: Preservation and Use of Audiovisual Materials,” SGA Annual Conference, 2010. Lecturer, “The Place of Archives in Theory and Practice,” Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, 2010. Panelist, “Exhibitions on a Shoestring: Practical Advice,” American Association for State and Local History Annual Meeting, 2007.

Awards: Edward Weldon Scholarship, Society of Georgia Archivists, 2003. Academic Excellence Scholarship, University of New Mexico, 2000–2002.

Other: Review Panel, National Historical Publications and Records Commission, 2010, 2012. Archives Leadership Institute, 2011. Curriculum Development Team, Master of Archival Studies program, Clayton State University, 2011. Advisory Panel, “Meeting the Past” program, Atlanta History Center, 2011. Certification, Academy of Certified Archivists, 2010. Advisory Panel, “The 1968 Project,” a collaboration between the Minnesota Historical Society, Atlanta History Center, Chicago History Museum, and Oakland Museum of California, 2009. Advisor, Gallagher & Associates for the National Center for Civil & Human Rights, 2009. Grant Review Panel, Georgia Humanities Council, 2008. HBCU Archives Institute, 2003.

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Question posted by Nominating Committee: Nominating Committee members are responsible for identifying candidates for leadership who represent a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, as well as a passion for and commitment to advancing the profession. What would be your strategy for identifying qualified candidates?

My strategy for ensuring a broad and robust slate of candidates is multifold, but ultimately it’s about diversity. I will work with committee members to create a balanced roster of candidates from differing repository types and sizes, a list of women and men whose diversity ranges from race to professional interests to subject expertise. Having candidates with multiple backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences will foster a sense of inclusiveness and equity among members as well as ensure strong leadership to serve the organization with vigor and commitment.

To accomplish this goal, I will collaborate with colleagues to identity qualified potential candidates for leadership through professional networks across state, regional, national, religious, government, and corporate organizations. There is amazing energy and knowledge to be tapped from these associations. Avenues for soliciting nominations include contacting board members and leaders of organizations; utilizing professional communication networks, such as listservs and newsletters; and surveying archives and library program directors.