The archival curation assignments have been a collaborative effort. Our goal was to curate online collections of archives and materials related to women’s and feminist rhetorics from across historical periods and cultural contexts. Specifically, we used the social networking platform Pinterest to curate links to archives, digital archives, and other materials. We created these collections in order to serve our collective course inquiries, your final research projects, and external audiences consisting of scholars with shared interests in women’s and feminist rhetorics. While this curatorial work is still in process, we are now looking ahead to the end of the semester, at which point each of us will reflect on our collaboration and what purposes it has served.
For the final portion of this assignment, your task is to document your individual involvement in the group collaboration and reflect on what purposes our collaborative curation has served. Your response may take the form of a letter, addressed to me. Please include in your letter responses to the following questions:
- Documentation: Which five pins did you elect to refine, and where can I find them? What rhetorical decisions did you make—taking into account your purposes, audiences, and contexts—about how to select, caption, and create metadata for those pins? In what other ways did you also contribute to the whole-class curatorial project?
- Reflection on Collaborative Curation: What purposes did your curation serve? How did your collaboration with others facilitate (or impede) your curatorial process? How has this experience contributed to your understanding of textual curation, digital archives, and/or digital methods within feminist rhetorical studies? And how has this experience informed your thoughts on the place of dialogic and hierarchical collaboration among students, teachers, and scholars of women’s and/or feminist rhetorics?
Your letter is due to Blackboard, in the designated spot, by 7:10 p.m. on 12/13.
Collaborative Revisions to Assignment
This above assignment was developed through collaboration. After an in-class conversation, I drafted the assignment, to which many of you responded in writing with feedback, suggestions, and questions. The current version of the assignment reflects my responses to your feedback, including as follows:
- There is no required length for the letter. As requested by M.W., however, I will offer that I expect a thoughtful response would require at least one substantial paragraph for documentation and at least two for reflection. (But if your letter is longer, or if shorter paragraphs are more fitting for conveying your thoughts, that is not a problem.)
- Also in response to M.W.’s question, please note that the curation project will be assessed holistically. I will consider your letter as well as your participation on Pinterest through boards, pins, captions, etc. That said, the letter offers you a considerable opportunity to direct my attention (e.g. to the five pins you refined), share with me the thinking behind your Pinterest participation, and frame how I read your contributions.
- In response to C.G. and L.H.’s concerns about formatting, your submission may simply be a letter. Also, your letter may be similar in style to a BlackBoard post, as M.W. suggests, rather than being written more formally like the final project proposal. That said, like BB posts, the letter should be reviewed, revised, and edited with an audience in mind, so that the prose is readable (i.e. readers can focus on and follow your line of thinking).
- In terms of L.H.’s question about documentation, you will want to identify the five individual pins you elected to refine. You may do so in a number of ways, as C.G. and K.G. variously recommend. In addition to telling me where the five pins are located, you may provide hyperlinks (either in a separate section or in the main body of the letter), embed images of the pins within the letter, and/or provide images in an appendix. As K.G. explains, doing one of the above could make it “easier…to explain…in terms of the significance, contribution, and metadata with the respective pin above it or at least attached in an appendix of the paper.” This could also make it “easier for [me] to read [your] rationale with the actual pins in the document as opposed to…hunting and pecking through so many different boards to find them.” It is up to each of you, though, to decide how you want to document your pins. Also, once you have identified the five individual pins, it is up to you whether you want to analyze them separately, as a group, or in some combination of both. All I ask is that your account be clear, helping me to see what you did and why.
- Per C.B.’s proposal, I am asking everyone to include documentation and reflection, but I have combined the reflective questions about collaboration and curation. I realize the two are intimately entwined in this project. With the questions combined, though, you may elect to focus your attention more on one than the other, if you would like to.
- As K.G. recommends, any of you are welcome to create a Pinterest board for your reflections, where you collect images of them. If someone decides to create this board, feel free to invite everyone in the class. Out of respect for privacy (and preexisting time commitments), participation won’t be required, but each person may choose whether to add to the new board.
Relevant Course Readings
Enoch, Jessica, and Jean Bessette. “Meaningful Engagements: Feminist Historiography and the Digital Humanities.” College Composition and Communication 64.4 (2013): 634-60.
Enoch, Jessica, Jean Bessette, and Pamela VanHaitsma. “Feminist Invitations to Digital Historiography.” Gayle Morris Sweetland Center for Writing, 28 Mar. 2014. Web.
Geraths, Cory, and Michele Kennerly. “Pinvention: Updating Commonplace Books for the Digital Age.” Communication Teacher 29.3 (2015): 166-72.
Graban, Tarez Samra, Alexis Ramsey-Tobienne, and Whitney Myers. “In, Through, and About the Archive: What Digitization (Dis)Allows.” Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities. Eds. Jim Ridolfo and William Hart-Davidson. Chicago: U Chicago P, 2015. 233-44.
Johnson, Nan. “Autobiography of an Archivist.” Working in the Archives: Practical Research Methods for Rhetoric and Composition. Eds. Alexis E. Ramsey, Wendy B. Sharer, Barbara L’Eplattenier, and Lisa S. Mastrangelo. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2010. 290-300.
Kennedy, Krista. “Textual Curation.” Computers and Composition 40 (2016): 175-89.
Lunsford, Andrea A., and Lisa Ede. “Rhetoric in a New Key: Women and Collaboration.” Rhetoric Review 8.2 (1990): 234-41.
Ramsey-Tobienne, Alexis E. “Archives 2.0: Digital Archives and the Formation of New Research Methods.” Peitho 15.1 (2012): 4-29.