When I talked to Ruff at the beginning of June, the most important point I wanted to stress was the variety of campus history models emerging; not every project comes out of an R1 school with a commission, faculty support, or funding. That there are, in fact, a growing number of student-centered models for this work is one reason I’m disappointed that Ruff didn’t name the founders of our project at Bryn Mawr — Emma Kioko and Grace Pusey — whose dedication, research, and creativity fueled this project from start to finish, even after their graduation.
The article is only available to Chronicle subscribers, but I’ve made a PDF available here.
I’ve been invited by the Bryn Mawr College Pensby Center to kick off this year’s Diversity Conversations programming with a look at the past, present, and future of the Black at Bryn Mawr project. During 2015-2016, I will continue to manage the project, providing new research and integrating it with my teaching and the work of the Greenfield Digital Center. I feel the loss of the project’s creators, Emma Kioko ’15 and Grace Pusey ’15 greatly — their energy and expertise made Emma’s idea for a Black history walking tour real, and far more successful than we ever could have imagined at this time last year. Our students graduate, and move on in their research and careers; talk of sustainability for campus history projects in the small liberal arts college environment must reflect this.
For those who can not attend the conversation, I am making my slides available via Slideshare, and welcome comments and further questions. Today’s presentation also dovetails with the work I am just beginning as a co-organizer of the 2016 NCPH Working Group “Campus History as Public History,” which is taking applications through October 15, 2015. Can we create best practices for these kinds of projects?
I’ve had the pleasure of advising a number of projects at Bryn Mawr during my first year, including Black at Bryn Mawr, designed and researched by Grace Pusey and Emma Kioko, graduating seniors. Emma and Grace have taken an important public-facing, place-based approach to rewriting narratives of the College’s history; you can read more about the project here.
I’m thrilled to return to the University of Chicago on Wednesday, April 1, for the Gala Opening of Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles: A History of LGBTQ Life at the University of Chicago, curated by Lauren Stokes, and based on the oral history project I coordinated from 2011-2014. If you’re in Chicago, please join us at the opening event, visit the exhibit during its run at Regenstein Library, and save the date for our Alumni Weekend curators panel in June. Details below:
It’s gratifying to see this research come to life, and I look forward to celebrating the generosity of our 95 oral history narrators, the many undergraduate students who worked as research assistants and oral history interviewers on the project, and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, which trusted us to make history.
To showcase the ongoing work of the project, we’re starting to collect our thoughts on tumblr. Over time, we’ll use it as a space to share findings and highlight the courses, programs, undergraduate student work, and public history stories associated with the larger world of history of sexuality research.
As part of my work for the Closeted/Out project, I have been organizing a series of workshops that bring visiting scholars to campus to join us in ongoing conversations about the role of gender and sexuality studies in public history theory and practice. Previous talks have featured Jennifer Brier, Associate Professor of History and Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago (and a recent NEA grant recipient for her Mobile Museum!), and Tim Stewart-Winter, Assistant Professor of History at Rutgers-Newark, where he is also a steering committee member of the Queer Newark project. This Thursday, May 30 at noon, we’re thrilled to welcome Nan Alamilla Boyd, Professor of Women and Gender Studies at San Francisco State University, to discuss her recent edited volume, Bodies of Evidence: the Practice of Queer Oral History(Oxford UP, 2012).