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How Can Digital Archives be Public Humanities?

Modified: March 18, 2015

Friday, April 3rd, 12:30-2:00pm
NU Center for Civic Engagement Conference Room, 1813 Hinman Ave.

Join the NU Public Humanities Colloquium for How Can Digital Archives be Public Humanities? a conversation with Harris Feinsod, Assistant Professor of English & Comparative Literary Studies, hosted by Ira S. Murfin, doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary PhD Theatre & Drama.

What challenges and possibilities do digital archives raise for scholarship, pedagogy, and public access? And how do those applications variously influence the manner in which collections are digitized, arranged, and made available? Can digital archives effectively serve the interests of scholars, students, and potential publics simultaneously? What are the unique ways online archives can engage those publics that are not available to traditional archives? Prof. Feinsod will discuss these questions especially in terms of issues of curation and selection; organizational approaches that cross racial, ethnic, and national boundaries; and concern for exploring and presenting the material objects found in poetry archives as enmeshed with their literary content.

Professor Feinsod will offer insights related to several connected current projects devoted to making the material culture of transnational and multiethnic avant-garde poetries of the 1960s and 70s available online, and to considering the impact and implications of such availability. These include his spring course “Poetry in Public: The 1960s,” which will “culminate with an online exhibition curated by the students” of objects found in Deering Library’s Special Collections; The Open Door Archive, a new effort at Northwestern between the Multimedia Learning Center and the Center for Scholarly Communication and Digital Curation led by Feinsod and fellow English Professor John Alba Cutler; and the related “Radical Poetics: Archives, Forms, Social Movements” symposium he and Cutler are convening at Northwestern in April.

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