Using Archives in Social Justice Research – Fall 2021

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Using Archives in Social Justice Research is a course designed to develop students’ knowledge, skills, and strategies for using physical and digital archival material to study research questions of interest to them. Archives offer rich narrative, visual, & historical material for understanding societal issues, activism, and collective efforts, lives lived in particular times and contexts, histories of groups and institutions, and justice-focused initiatives. The possible uses of archival data and material are boundless.

In this course we read theoretical, methodological, and empirical papers on archival research and discuss their relevance to students’ interests. We read deeply in the social sciences and humanities to sharpen students’ understanding of archives as a construct, as a rich empirical repository, and as a resource vulnerable to politicization.

Topics we study include: historical and contemporary perspectives on the nature of archives; the rich variety of archives; how scholars have used archives for research; methods scholars have used to conduct research in archives; and the various form that empirical research on archives takes.

In addition to studying theory and method, this is a handson course as well By the semester’s end, students will have chosen, designed, and begun a scholarly project utilizing archival material.

Using Archives in Social Justice Research – Fall 2021

Group logo of Using Archives in Social Justice Research – Fall 2021

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