In a cultural moment when institutional repositories carry valuable secrets to the present and past, this collection argues for the critical, intellectual, and social value of archival instruction. Graban and Hayden and 37 other contributors examine how undergraduate and graduate courses in rhetoric, history, community literacy, and professional writing can successfully engage students in archival research in its many forms, and successfully model mutually beneficial relationships between archivists, instructors, and community organizations.
Combining new and established voices from related fields, each of the book’s three sections includes a range of form-disrupting pedagogies. Section I focuses on how approaching the archive primarily as text fosters habits of mind essential for creating and using archives, for critiquing or inventing knowledge-making practices, and for being good stewards of private and public collections. Section II argues for conducting archival projects as collaboration through experiential learning and for developing a preservationist consciousness through disciplined research. Section III details praxis for revealing, critiquing, and intervening in historic racial omissions and gaps in the archives in which we all work.
Ultimately, contributors explore archives as sites of activism while also raising important questions that persist in rhetoric and composition scholarship, such as how to decolonize research methodologies, how to conduct teaching and research that promote social justice, and how to shift archival consciousness toward more engaged notions of democracy. This collection highlights innovative classroom and curricular course models for teaching with and through the archives in rhetoric and composition and beyond.