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Course Schedule 4: April


April 2: Perspectives on Privacy

Prior to digging into our archives, we need to think about questions of copyright and privacy. What kinds of materials in the archive might violate privacy? Is it the same for everyone? Are there ways to make use of what you have learned, cite to documents, or make generalizations that contribute to knowledge without violating an individual’s privacy? Finally, since the death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz, there have been broad discussions about whether anyone should be permitted to own knowledge. Clearly, as Gail Drakes points out, readers can be kept out of an archive. Do you think this is right? Why — or why not? And is this an entirely different issue from the question of privacy?

Please note: we will be doing an in-class exercise based on the readings below. Bring your copies of Doing Recent History with you.

  • Laura Clark Brown and Nancy Kaiser, “Opening Archives on the Recent American Past: Reconciling the Ethics of Access and the Ethics of Privacy,” DRH, 59-82.
  • Gail Drakes, “Who Owns Your Archive? Historians and the Challenge of Intellectual Property Law,” DRH, 83-111.
  • G. Thomas Couser, “The Obituary of a Face:  Lucy Grealy, Death Writing and Posthumous Harm,” Auto/Biography v. 12 (2004), 1-15.
  • Judith Schwarz, “The Archivists’ Balancing Act: Helping Researchers While Protecting Individual Privacy,” The Journal of American History v. 79 no. 1, 179-189.

April 9: Workshop Session –NYPL

Please be prompt so we can get right to work: our course assistant will be present to talk to you about the technical aspects of your project.

Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room, Third Floor, Room 328:  Kerri, Guy, Norma, Lech, Ellen

Please note:  the reading room closes at 6:00. You may want to go earlier if you can.

Room 215: Danny, Ariel, Lynn, Nina, Sujel, Evon, Julia, Phoenix

 Room 215 is on the second floor in the center of the building.  It’s easy if you leave your bags and coats at the coat check before proceeding to Room 215, but not 100% necessary.
Once in the building, go up the stairs from ‘Astor Hall’ to the second floor.  Room 215 is indicated with a red circle on this map:
Room 215_NYPL

Due on Sunday April 14: a one – two page report from each project as to what was accomplished in today’s session, when you anticipate returning to the archive this week (if you do), what you hope to accomplish in our next class, and what boxes you need pulled for 4/16. Groups may file a joint report, although if members of the group have specific assignments, they  should file an individual report of one-two paragraphs.

April 16: Workshop Session NYPL

April 23: Workshop session NYPL

April 30: When Are We Finished?

  • Eileen Boris and Jennifer Klein, “When the Present Disrupts the Past: Narrating Home Care,” DRH, 249-274
  • Claire Potter, “When Radical Feminism Talks Back: Taking an Ethnographic Turn in the Living Past,” DRH, 155-182
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