CFP — Teaching with Primary Sources: Media Studies and the Archive

Edited by Kate Fortmueller, University of Georgia and Laura Isabel Serna, University of Southern California

Deadline: January 6, 2017

Primary historical sources have the capacity to animate discussions of film and media history. Proximity to and distance from media archives present different challenges to creating and executing projects using primary, archival sources with undergraduates. How can we effectively incorporate the study of archival material into undergraduate teaching? Three avenues seem particularly promising: the growth and accessibility of online media archives, the creative use of local archival collections, and collaborative teaching with archives or special collections. With this dossier on teaching with primary sources we seek to expand on the dossier “Teaching Humanistic Research Methods” by generating a dossier that addresses the challenges and opportunities of using primary sources in the classroom.  We invite proposals for short essays on a range of topics related to teaching and the archive, such as crafting teaching collaborations with archives, incorporating primary sources into film and television history courses, how local special collections might shape or inform course design, and the challenges of guiding students through print or moving image archives and collections.   We are especially interested in essays that showcase specific examples of teaching archival research skills and close reading and analysis practices. Compelling examples of how to incorporate historical material into non-traditional or creative assignments are also particularly welcome.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Strategies and resources for designing (or redesigning) a course around archives or special collections
  • Incorporating unconventional primary sources or archival material into lesson plans
  • Examples of using primary sources in innovative ways in courses
  • Case studies of collaborative or team-teaching with archives or special collections
  • Teaching with a local archive
  • Methods for teaching with and helping students navigate large collections
  • Creative assignments that share archival research with a broader audience
  • Approaches toward assignment design that helps students build primary source reading skills
  • Examples of weaving primary sources into production assignments
  • How archives and primary sources help illuminate arguments about copyright and fair use

We welcome proposals for essays addressing these and other topics related to teaching with primary sources. Submit a 250-word abstract for a proposed 1300-1800-word essay, as well as a 150-word teaching biography highlighting courses taught to Kate Fortmueller at by January 6, 2017.  We will send notifications of acceptance by January 13, 2017.  Completed essays (including all images and links) will be due March 10, 2017.

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