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Upcoming events

    • September 23, 2021
    • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    • Zoom
    • 174

    Teaching Black and LGBTQ+ Inclusive Histories with Primary Sources

    Recognizing the growing need for access to online historical primary source documentation during the pandemic, Digital Commonwealth’s Outreach and Education Committee has been working on developing primary source sets for use by K-12 educators. After a brief introduction to Digital Commonwealth’s primary source sets, this session will consist of a panel discussion on using primary sources to teach Black and LGBTQ+ inclusive histories in K-12 education. The panel will include the following presentations:

    Reclaiming John Brown: America’s First White Ally for Blacks and Traitor to White Supremacy (Kevin Dua)

    High school social studies/history classes nationwide have commonly used the argumentative essay prompt for students on John Brown: madman or hero, on his violent actions against White enslavers. However, the prompt wrongfully frames a debatable notion inferring that slavery had options to challenge; that Brown was an outlier in the US.

    Yet, Brown’s legacy - which is briefly instructed in schools; isn’t as mainstream as other White persons and isn’t commemorated via architectures - highlighting a whitewashing of a human rights activist who was hailed by Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass as the only, loyal White person they would work with. His legacy also provides the template for a current generation of White boomers, millennials, and Gen Z aspiring to avoid portraying Dr King’s accurate fear of the moderate white liberals aiming to support Black Lives. This research reimagines an opinion into a fact: what can we learn from Brown’s sacrifice for Black liberation today?

    From Picturebooks to Primary Sources: Cultivating Historical Inquiry through Children’s Literature and the Digital Commonwealth (Dr. Jon M. Wargo)

    In this presentation, Dr. Jon M. Wargo (Boston College) will highlight how open-access sources from the Digital Commonwealth can be used in connection with diverse children’s literature to help shape, guide, and extend historical inquiry in elementary social studies. Sharing lesson examples from U.S. history and insights from educators already teaching lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) inclusive history, Wargo offers strategies for cultivating critical thinking and sourcing with some of our youngest learners.

    Speaker Bios:

    Kevin Dua has been teaching history for a decade throughout the Boston area, and that’s rare: Black men make up only 1.7% of U.S. public school teachers. Throughout his career, Kevin has inspired students to utilize their agency to affect positive change via critically exploring history and mobilizing civic projects, and served as an antiracist consultant to nonprofits and schools nationwide. He is the recipient of several awards, including MA History Teacher of the Year (the first African American to be awarded), and the NBCUniversal Comcast Leadership National Award. In 2019, he co-establish the university partnership between the Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars Program at the Lynch School of Education & Human Development at Boston College and City Year, which offers M.ed scholarships for City Year alumni aspiring to become urban school teachers. At BC, Kevin is a practicum supervisor for K-12 teaching candidates. 

    A queer first-gen multi-ethnic teacher educator, Jon M. Wargo, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Lynch School of Education & Human Development at Boston College. An educational researcher who attends closely to qualitative methods, Wargo engages community-based, ethnographic, and multimodal methodologies to examine how digital media and technology mediates children’s and youths’ social and civic education. Wargo’s current research - graciously supported by a 2020 NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship - examines the material and ideological affordances and constraints elementary teachers identify as obstacles and supports for teaching LGBTQ-inclusive social studies. At BC, Wargo teaches courses in literacy, social studies education, qualitative research methods, and teacher education.

    • October 29, 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    • Zoom
    • 276

    'In an alien land': Finding Solace from Librarian-Led Digital Humanities Pedagogy in a Pandemic

    The turn to working from home in March 2020 required a shift in how librarians and student employees and interns worked together. At Rutgers University–New Brunswick, the professional training offered by librarians to graduate students in the Master of Information (MI) program included preparation for reference, instruction, and special projects. In practice, those special projects had usually involved processing print gift collections, which were inaccessible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Finding meaningful work for MI students preparing for careers in academic librarianship required flexibility and a bit of scrambling. In this presentation, I will discuss the adaptation of an assignment originally crafted for a semester-long course into an ongoing, librarian-led digital project. The Correspondence of the Rutgers College War Service Bureau is a minimal documentary edition of correspondence sent to and from Rutgers alumni serving in World War I. The library’s stake in this project was clear from the onset: transcription and encoding using the Text Encoding Initiative markup make this collection of university records more accessible to the public. As the work unfolded, I learned that it satisfied other priorities as well, not least of which was an emerging sense of solidarity with these Rutgers men from over a century ago whose loneliness and urgency to communicate came through their letters despite implicit social codes that precluded frank assessments of their experiences. I will address how the project evolved over the course of the past year and a half, touching upon issues of workflow, software, aspirational as well as practical goals, and make recommendations for librarians and archivists considering similar projects.

    Francesca Giannetti is the Digital Humanities Librarian at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and subject liaison to the departments of Classics, French, and Italian, and the program in Comparative Literature. At Rutgers, she leads initiatives in digital humanities—including the application of spatial and computational approaches to historical and cultural texts, and public outreach in the form of workshops, lectures, symposia, and open data crowdsourcing events. She directs two digital editorial projects with students: the Peter Still Edition relates to the personal papers of a former slave, and the Correspondence of the Rutgers College War Service Bureau publishes selected letters of Rutgers alumni serving in the Great War. Giannetti earned an MS in Information Studies from UT Austin, a degree in vocal performance from the École Normale de Musique de Paris, and a BA in art history and French from Case Western Reserve University.

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