Event Title

Lightning Talk (5 min): Undergraduate Research with Queer Collection Material: The John Hay Library Undergraduate Fellowship Program

Presenter Information

Heather Cole, Brown University

Start Date

12-8-2021 12:50 PM

End Date

12-8-2021 1:25 PM

Description

Abstract

We’ve all seen it happen: an undergraduate, in a special collections class session, who perhaps has never interacted with rare books or manuscripts before, discovers an object, an annotation, a connection with a person who lived and died hundreds of years ago -and for a moment understands the possibility those materials hold. But once the class session ends, the student forgets that experience, or dismisses it as unrelated to their academic interests. I created the Undergraduate Fellowship Program at Brown’s John Hay Library to encourage undergraduate self-directed exploration of special collections. Now in its third year, the program serves as a primary source research bootcamp, allowing students to develop traditional research or creative projects over ten weeks in the summer. The students produce inspiring original research and artwork. Past projects have included an artist’s book on sexuality and immigration inspired by research in the Hay’s LGBTQ collections; a video game exploring the personal ads in the archive of lesbian periodical On our Backs, and an examination of the pioneering work on intersex identities in the papers of scholar Anne Fausto-Sterling. This lightning talk will explore the ways that working with these original materials have enriched students’ experiences and made them more successful researchers and critical thinkers.

Speaker bio

Heather Cole (she/her) is the Head of Special Collections Instruction and Curator for Literary and Popular Culture Collections at Brown University's John Hay Library, where she stewards, among other things, Brown's Global Lavender Voices collection, which includes zines, pulp novels, rare ephemera, a large collection of Japanese periodicals, and the papers of queer artists, activists, writers, and academics.

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Aug 12th, 12:50 PM Aug 12th, 1:25 PM

Lightning Talk (5 min): Undergraduate Research with Queer Collection Material: The John Hay Library Undergraduate Fellowship Program

Abstract

We’ve all seen it happen: an undergraduate, in a special collections class session, who perhaps has never interacted with rare books or manuscripts before, discovers an object, an annotation, a connection with a person who lived and died hundreds of years ago -and for a moment understands the possibility those materials hold. But once the class session ends, the student forgets that experience, or dismisses it as unrelated to their academic interests. I created the Undergraduate Fellowship Program at Brown’s John Hay Library to encourage undergraduate self-directed exploration of special collections. Now in its third year, the program serves as a primary source research bootcamp, allowing students to develop traditional research or creative projects over ten weeks in the summer. The students produce inspiring original research and artwork. Past projects have included an artist’s book on sexuality and immigration inspired by research in the Hay’s LGBTQ collections; a video game exploring the personal ads in the archive of lesbian periodical On our Backs, and an examination of the pioneering work on intersex identities in the papers of scholar Anne Fausto-Sterling. This lightning talk will explore the ways that working with these original materials have enriched students’ experiences and made them more successful researchers and critical thinkers.

Speaker bio

Heather Cole (she/her) is the Head of Special Collections Instruction and Curator for Literary and Popular Culture Collections at Brown University's John Hay Library, where she stewards, among other things, Brown's Global Lavender Voices collection, which includes zines, pulp novels, rare ephemera, a large collection of Japanese periodicals, and the papers of queer artists, activists, writers, and academics.