HC 101H: Expanding the Archive: Piecing Fragments and Listening to Silences

Professor: Monique Balbuena

4.00 credits

• CRN 16614: Monday & Wednesday, 1415-1545 @ This course will be held remotely

• CRN 16621: Monday & Wednesday, 1215-1345 @ This course will be held remotely

The “archive” roughly refers to our records of the past. How are our memories recorded and included in the archive? How is history recorded and remembered? Which voices are registered in the archive, and which forgotten? What is preserved and what is discarded? How can we add to the archive and inscribe those about whom no words were written?

Our approach to this broad interrogation of the archive is interdisciplinary and will be done with hands-on exploration. We will look at fields that include literature, genealogy, visual arts, history, gender studies, and museum studies, among others. As a class, we will visit collections (digital and otherwise), and learn how they are created and maintained, and we will create and exhibit our own collections. We will learn how some scholars are writing biographies with objects, and try our hand at it, so as to expand the archive with non-textual sources. Some of the projects we will visit include records of the Portuguese Inquisition, pictorial manuscripts from Mesoamerican indigenous communities, a memory project about 300 enslaved people sold by Maryland Jesuits in 1838, and ways that we are already recording the 2020 pandemic.