Marketplace of Ideas

2024 RAO Annual Section Meeting (Virtual)
Marketplace of IDEAs
Thursday, July 25, 2024
90 minutes  |  4pm EDT  |  3pm CDT  |  2pm MDT  |  1pm PDT



Section Business Meeting (15 minutes)

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Announcements
    • Upcoming Standards Reviews
    • Steering Committee Election - Call for Nominations extended, need Vice Chair nominees
    • Call for Volunteers - Publications Committee, Communications Liaison, Webmaster, Secretary, Subcommittees
    • Future of RAO Survey and Upcoming Community Calls
  • Committee Reports and Updates
    • Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Subcommittee, Katherine Banks, TPS co-chair
    • Exhibits and Events (E2) Subcommittee, Michelle Chiles, E2 co-chair

Marketplace of Ideas (80 minutes)

Reading Room Futures Collaborative
10 minutes
Speakers: Miriam Intrator (Ohio University); TBD

Teaching the Past of Racial Justice by Emplaced Humanities in College Archives
15 minutes
Speaker: Shu Wan (University of Buffalo)
With the development of digital humanities and pedagogy, an increasing number of college history instructors began to (exceedingly) rely on remote and digital technology in the classroom. Concerned about how to integrate racial justice into the pedagogy of humanities, this chapter contends for the potential of the promising methodology of the emplaced humanities in changing and bridging college students and the local community in advocacy for the pedagogy of racial justice. The chapter consists of two sections, which regard theoretical moderation and empirical discussion, respectively. The first section mainly introduces the promising methodology of emplacing humanities and its pedagogical use in the history classroom. Then the second section turns to my practice of teaching the forgotten history of racial “riot” in Buffalo in 1967 in the University at Buffalo’s University Archives in early May 2023, in which I attempted to bring to students with the traumatic past of the local community. Through the case study of how to emplace the teaching of racial justice in the history classroom by touching local archive, this chapter contends for bridging the pedagogy of racial justice and emplaced humanities studies together.

Archives Field Trip! Bringing Public History to the Archives
10 minutes
Speakers: Lori Schwartz and Claire Du Laney (University of Nebraska Omaha)
What happens when archivists are asked to create and teach a public history course? In 2023, an academic department chair at the University of Nebraska at Omaha wanted to offer a public history course for the first time but did not have the necessary faculty expertise. They turned to faculty archivists Du Laney and Schwartz, both of whom had relevant degrees and public history experience. In this presentation, Du Laney and Schwartz will share about two class sessions they developed in this course, flipping the traditional one-shot archives sessions beyond basic usage and access and moving into practice and theory. This was particularly important for Du Laney and Schwartz as the public history literature and syllabi from other programs included very little about archival work when compared to museum and other public history work. Both Du Laney and Schwartz have experience teaching archival practices to student employees and interns, but trying to convey meaningful skills in processing and outreach in two hours through active learning was a challenge. These two class sessions were a mix of thrilling and baffling. As we navigated this type of teaching, we watched students experience primary sources in the archives, connect what they learned in class with a hands-on activity, and struggle to grasp the full scope of the sessions in the archives. We will discuss what went well, what can be improved as this course evolves, and our current research about archivists teaching public history.

Engaging MFA Theatre Students in Archival Studies and Memory Work
10 minutes
Speaker: Caelin Ross (Arizona State University)
Developing meaningful engagement and instruction opportunities with archival collections for MFA students can prove challenging. These include managing preconceived notions of archival materials, as well as the opinion that research is anxiety inducing and a solitary endeavor. This session will provide a case study for integrating archival materials into the classroom for students engaged in dramaturgy research. Inspired by an exercise from a theatrical practice called devising, a method of theatre-making in which the script or performance score that originates from collaborative work, students used anonymized historical documents to create a performance of their choice. Examples of student creations included performing a haiku, creating a monologue and a playlist. In post-activity discussions, students revealed that the more time they spent with the materials, the more questions they developed, and the greater their curiosity and interest in the collections. This classroom experience demonstrates that by integrating an activity with a creative outcome, students can integrate creative research methods into their understanding of archives, both as a site for learning and for creative inspiration

Creativity in the Classroom: Roleplaying, Making, and More
20 minutes
Speakers: Virginia Ferris and Taylor Wolford (North Carolina State University Libraries)
In this presentation, we will share recent examples of how Special Collections librarians have collaborated with faculty in developing creative, interactive classroom experiences to empower students in their engagement with primary sources. We will explore several specific examples, including a semester-long roleplaying game in an undergraduate level art history class where students assumed the roles of characters during periods of historical change. We will share insights from this project, including strategies for designing effective roleplaying scenarios, integrating archival materials, and assessing student learning outcomes. A second example will explore how introducing hands-on, creative making experiences in the classroom has yielded more engaging and inclusive instruction sessions. This approach has enabled us to collaborate with more colleagues across departments in the Libraries and on campus, pulling in diverse expertise and practices around creativity, wellness, and community building. We’ll share what we’ve learned, resources and tips, and experiments we’re hoping to test in the future.

Marketplace of Ideas Q&A with all presenters (10 minutes)



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