Tag Archives: Events

Join Us: Workshop on May 2 with Ellen Gruber Garvey

May 2 Writing with scissorsIt is with great excitement that we invite you to our upcoming workshop with Ellen Gruber Garvey, Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at New Jersey City University and the author of a new book, Writing With Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance (Oxford UP, 2012). Please join us on May 2, 6:00-8:00 PM at 19 University Place, Room 222. The event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.

Professor Garvey will present from her work in a talk entitled “Writing With Scissors: Scrapbooks as Archive & Activism” and Jenna Freedman, Director of Research & Instruction and Zine Librarian at Barnard Library, will offer a response. As is our custom, a good deal of time will be devoted to workshop-style discussion, so please bring your questions! We promise our speakers will stimulate your curiosity about a wide range of topics, including what scrapbooks (and scrapbook-makers) can reveal to us about U.S. literary, political and cultural histories and of course, about archives & activism.

For more information about Writing With Scissors, check out Christopher Benfey’s “Scrapbook Nation” post at the New York Review of Books blog here. You can also read more about Jenna Freedman’s work at her blog, Lower East Side Librarian.

We look forward to seeing you on May 2! Stay tuned on Twitter @NYUArchiveWork for news, updates and future announcements.

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TOMORROW: “Why Documents Matter,” 6-8 PM

Here’s a reminder about tomorrow’s exciting workshop, “Why Documents Matter,” featuring Kristina Lundblad. Please join us! Information follows below.

The NYU English Department and the Workshop in Archival Practice present
“Why Documents Matter:
The Materiality of Literature”
Kristina Lundblad, Lund University Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences
November 29, 6:00-8:00 PM

19 University Place, Room 222
Free and open to the public; refreshments will be served

Kristina Lundblad, senior lecturer at Lund University’s Division for ALM and Book History, will present her research on the history of publishers’ book-bindings and discuss new ways of thinking about what book history can show us. Lundblad asks us to broaden our understanding of the materiality of literature to include not only the histories of books’ production and circulation but also ideas about what materiality does on a more ecological and psychological level. What are the major differences between digital materiality and analogue materiality when it comes to books and how do these differences impact archival studies?

“Why Documents Matter” – November 29, 6-8 PM

The NYU English Department and the Workshop in Archival Practice present
“Why Documents Matter: The Materiality of Literature”
Kristina Lundblad, Lund University Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences
November 29, 6:00-8:00 PM; 19 University Place, Room 222
Free and open to the public; refreshments will be served

Kristina Lundblad, senior lecturer at Lund University’s Division for ALM and Book History, will present her research on the history of publishers’ book-bindings and discuss new ways of thinking about what book history can show us. Lundblad asks us to broaden our understanding of the materiality of literature to include not only the histories of books’ production and circulation but also ideas about what materiality does on a more ecological and psychological level. What are the major differences between digital materiality and analogue materiality when it comes to books and how do these differences impact archival studies?

The View From Left Field: Nov 1, 6-8 PM

Workshop in Archival Practice: The View From Left Field
November 1, 6:00-8:00 PM
19 University Place, Room 222

Supported by the NYU Graduate Program in English and Co-Sponsored by the Modern and Contemporary Colloquium
Workshop Leaders
Shelley Rice, Arts Professor in Department of Photography and Imaging and
Department of Art History and Exhibition Co-Curator
Jonno Rattman, Exhibition Co-Curator
Hillel Arnold, Project Archivist and Exhibition Consultant

Exhibition Information: The View from Left Field is currently on view (through November 17th) in the Department of Photography & Imaging at New York University: 721 Broadway, 8th Floor. The exhibition is dedicated to Michael Nash.

You can read more about the exhibition in a blog post by Shelley Rice here.

Event Description: What does it take to bring images from the archives into the classroom and onto gallery walls? The View From Left Field, an exhibition co-curated by Professor Shelley Rice, Jonno Rathman and the late Michael Nash, answers this question by demonstrating the evolution of what Professor Rice has called a “world in a box”—an exhibition of photographs that grew from Professor Rice’s Fall 2011 seminar, “Toward a Critical Vocabulary” and has emerged as a showcase of the Daily Worker/Daily World Photographs Collection, part of the archives of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) at New York University’s Tamiment Library & Robert Wagner Labor Archives. The View From Left Field marks an unprecedented fusion of pedagogy with institutional collaboration and offers its viewers a window into the histories of photography, journalism, American diplomacy and the lived reality of citizens in the grip of a 20th century indelibly marked by the Cold War. Co-curators Shelley Rice and Jonno Rattman, along with project archivist Hillel Arnold, will speak about their experiences in designing and implementing The View From Left Field and will take your questions about the challenges and rewards of their innovative and in-depth engagement with the Tamiment Library’s archival holdings. Open to students, archivists and faculty from any department or institution.

 

Networked NY Q&A with Marvin Taylor

This post was originally published on Patell & Waterman’s History of New York, where the NYU Colloquium on American Literature and Culture and the NYU Workshop in Archival Practice will be posting Q&A’s with our Networked New York conference panelists over the next few weeks.  Speakers will elaborate on their work and questions the conference raised for them.

I will be cross-posting some of these Q&As as a preview of our next project, which will include a series of online Workshops during the 2012-2013 academic year. I’ll be sending out more information on that shortly, but in the meantime, I want to linger on one of Marvin’s eloquent thoughts below, as it so cogently expresses much of my intent and inspiration in starting the Workshop:

The archive, as I conceive of it, can comprise much more cultural material than has traditionally been the case. And it should. Archives should be catalysts for change.

In your keynote, you emphasized that the Downtown Collection embraces materials that defy conventional “archival” designation and that in doing so, offers a model for how libraries, museums and other cultural institutions might relate more productively to one another.  Can you elaborate on the kinds of interpretive or categorical flexibility you’ve internalized or identified with the Downtown Collection?  What insights has it generated about defining “the archive” that might be applied more broadly?

There are two common processing strategies for archival materials: the literary and the historical. The literary model emphasizes the construction of literary works and the importance of biography to literary interpretation. These collections tend to be personal papers of authors, “personal papers” being the term for individual’s collections and “archives” the term for organizational papers. The literary model organizes materials according to various “series” or groups of like materials such as journals, diaries, correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, audio, video, etc. The emphasis in processing is on the draft versions of manuscripts that ostensibly show the process of the creation of a literary work. The historical model tends to be chronological and to look at the “great names” of history as a means of determining which correspondents, for instance, are more important than others when it comes to level of detail in “processing,” i.e. organizing and describing the collections. These traditional models do not work for artists’ papers, for instance—and perhaps never really worked all that well for literary and historical collections.  Artists work in very different ways. Objects are much more common in their creative process and serve as source materials. Traditionally, archives have shied away from collecting non-paper-based materials because of storage, lack of preservation expertise, and difficulty in describing such items. Of course, this is a prejudice within the epistemology of library and archival practice that is self-perpetuating. The same rationale removes all media from its context within a collection and all photographs to separate divisions of archives, if the materials are even collected in the first place.

At Fales we process all the materials from an artist’s collection together in the “finding aid” so that the intellectual organization of the artist’s materials is maintained. We separate the materials for storage, of course, but we are committed to maintaining the artist’s intellectual organization. My favorite example is David Wojnarowicz’s Magic Box. [See photo]. Wojnarowicz kept this old orange crate under his bed and didn’t tell anyone about its meaning, even his partner, Tom Rauffenbart. It contains about 80 objects, including a primate skull painted Klein blue, a plastic dog, a cloth snake, a metal globe, a crucifix, and other various objects. If you know Wojnarowicz’s work, you find physical representations of his set of symbols and metaphors that he uses in his painting, photography, films, and writing in the box. This is the very kind of thing that most archives would not accession or would refer to as “realia” and not describe in any detail. For me, the Magic Box is essential to understanding Wojnarowicz’s artistic practice and central to the collection. We borrowed descriptive methods from museum practice to accession each object in the box as a part of the whole, so there is a number for the box itself, a “parent record, and each object within it has a number as a “child.” We are able to blend these styles of description because of the flexible nature of Encoded Archival Description (EAD) that is used now as a standard to create finding aids. For me, each time I bring in a collection that confounds typical archival practice, I am reminded that libraries and archives are grand narratives of culture that impose the epistemology of their time onto materials rather than merely describing those materials. Downtown art questioned these structures of culture. Downtown collections query the library and archive in the same way. To adequately represent downtown work, I have to constantly be careful not to let the systems of the library and archive undermine the disruptive qualities of downtown work. This disruption that downtown work causes should make us look at all library and archival systems for their inherent modes of power and control.

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Reminder: Networked New York Conference Tomorrow

We are thrilled to be co-sponsoring this amazing event with the Project on New York Writing and the Colloquium on American Literature and Culture at NYU – two groups I cannot say enough good things about. Please join us at 19 University Place in the Great Room for a day filled with discussion of literary, material, and digital connections in the city!

To get a taste of all this day has to offer, read more about the conference themes from eloquent organizers Annie Abrams and Blevin Shelnutt. For annotated information about our keynote speaker and panelists, visit Patell and Waterman’s History of New York. We hope to see you there tomorrow!

Networked New York, March 9: More Details Here!

Networked New York

A conference on material, literary, and digital connections in the city

Friday, March 9 / 19 University Place, Great Room

Free and open to the public

10:00 – 11:15 Panel 1: Institution and Enterprise

Moderator: Thomas Augst

Joey McGarvey (New York University – English), “‘The Good, the Great, and the Gifted’: An Introduction to the New York Fruit Festival”

Reed Gochberg (Boston University – English), “Miniatures and Museums: Philanthropy, Cultural Institutions, and Edith Wharton’s Tableau Vivant”

Kristen Doyle Highland (New York University – English), “Finding New York City in the Bookstore”

11:15 –12:30  Panel 2: Community, Production, and Place

Moderator: Lisa Gitelman

Cecily Swanson (Cornell University – English), “‘Personal-Experiences-Personally-Experienced’: Gurdjieff and the Harlem Renaissance”

Micki McGee (Fordham University – Sociology), “The Yaddo Archive Project”

Edward Whitley (Lehigh University – English), “Digital Social Networks and New York’s First Bohemians”

1:30 – 2:45  Panel 3: Authors and Neighborhoods

Moderator: Lenora Warren

Karen Karbiener (New York University – Global Liberal Studies), “The Living Archive of Walt Whitman’s New York”

Mark Sussman (City University of New York – English), “Tenement Aesthetics: Howells, the Poor, and the Picturesque”

Josh Glick (Yale University – Film Studies and American Studies), “Memory at the Margins: Jewish American Fiction and the Lived Landscape of Coney Island”

3:00 – 4:00           Keynote

Marvin Taylor (Director, Fales Library & Special Collections), “Playing the Field: Thoughts about Social Networks and the New York Downtown Arts Scene”

4:00 – 5:30  Panel 4: Blogscapes and Digital Interaction

Moderator: Bryan Waterman

The Bowery Boys: New York City History

You Rach You Lose

Maud Newton

Walking Off the Big Apple 

5:30 – 6:30  Reception

Sponsored by the Project on New York Writing,the Colloquium in American Literature and Culture, and the Workshop in Archival Practice at New York University