Archival Research Assignment


As scholars or, perhaps, as concerned citizens, we return to the archives to see what has been left out, to retell the story, or to see the auratic traces of a life, a historical event, an institutional history for ourselves. What if we were to teach research writing through involving our students in the process of archival exploration? What if we were to invert the research process so that the task would not be one of synthesizing secondary sources, but, rather, one of contextualizing the primary sources simultaneously remembered and forgotten in the boxes of the archives? Bringing students into the archives can emphasize the organic and experiential, even the auratic, qualities of research. The archival research project presented here, developed over two semesters through a partnership with the Queensborough Community College archivist Constance Williams, is still very much a work-in-progress. Our goal through this process or archival recovery is to position students as interpreters of resources that have received little contemporary attention.


Dr. Laurel Harris



Archives Assignment

Archives Lesson Plan


Performing Working-Class Identity in Composition: Toward a Pedagogy of Textual Practice

Sample Paper


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