ARCHIVES 2015 has ended
Tuesday, August 18 • 1:10pm - 1:30pm
Research Forum Session 6: Enabling Instruction - Teaching Archival Literacy: The Challenges and Opportunities of Developing an Undergraduate Archival Studies Curriculum

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This paper explores the challenges and opportunities of developing an undergraduate archival studies curriculum at UCLA. This new curriculum draws on the expertise and community in the Department of Information Studies, which offers a graduate level specialization in Archival Studies. Building off of the work of Caswell et al*** in developing a social justice graduate curriculum in archival studies an aspect of our social justice commitment is expanding archival understandings at the undergraduate level. We argue that Archival Studies is a vital aspect of interrogating and understanding power. Without providing professional training or skills we focus on enhancing understandings of archives and archiving in disciplines, society, and personal life that inform students’ notions of identity, rights and social justice. Additionally, knowledge of archival functions and practice puts this understanding into motion, empowering students in research settings and providing them with skills in using primary sources. Archival studies concerns including accountability, transparency, access, community representation, cultural heritage, data literacy, human rights and social justice are paramount in a rapidly changing technological and political landscape. Developing a critical perspective on archives, records, and data in political, cultural, and technological contexts can serve as the foundation for archival literacy. An Archival Studies background provides students the tools to understand information through its structures and systems, establishing a material perspective that addresses everyday instantiations of power. Undergraduate offerings increase the Department’s reach and profile. They also enrich the archival community by opening opportunities to engage in new types of scholarship, pedagogical practice, and political possibility.

About the Authors:

Marika Cifor is a third-year doctoral student in Department of Information Studies at theUniversity of California, Los Angeles where she is also pursuing a Concentration Certificate in Gender Studies. She has worked as a processing archivist for the History Associates and in a range of archival positions for community, government and academic institutions. Marika has been an active member of SAA since 2009, and is outgoing co-chair of the Lesbian and Gay Archives Roundtable and member of the Diversity Committee. Her research interests in critical archival studies include affect, community, human rights, and queer and feminist archives and archiving. She holds masters degrees in library and information science with a concentration in archives management and history from Simmons College. She is an editor of InterActions.

Stacy Wood is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has a Bachelor of Arts in World Literature and Gender Studies from Pitzer College and a Masters in Library and Information Studies from University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests include archival history, government documents, military intelligence, infrastructure studies, critical bureaucracy studies and the role of archival documents in popular culture. She has worked with the Center for the Study of Women on an NEH funded project to process, digitize and publicize the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives. She is an editor of InterActions

Michelle Caswell, Giso Broman, Jennifer Kermer, Laura Martin and Nathan Sowry, “Implementing a Social Justice Framework in an Introduction to Archives Course: Lessons from Both Sides of the Classroom,” InterActions 8, no. 2. 


Marika Cifor

Doctoral Candidate, UCLA
Marika Cifor is a PhD Candidate in Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she is also completing Certificates in Gender Studies and the Digital Humanities.

Tuesday August 18, 2015 1:10pm - 1:30pm EDT
Room 26A Cleveland Convention Center, 300 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114

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