PART III: Digital Archive Curation and Creativity


Due date:

April 29, posted to Canvas before midnight

In this project, you will choose one or two primary texts from an archival source that is related to your life in some way (for example, a local archive from your hometown, legal or financial archives related to your family’s history, an institutional archive from a college or university that someone in your family attended, an archive of materials related to your future academic or career plans). Taking inspiration from M NourbeSe Philip’s ZONG! you will create at least two remixed poems using language from each of your selected texts.

To remix your poems, you’ll select and organize words from your archival documents by part of speech or some other category and use those words to construct new poems.

You will publish a blog post on our class site reflecting on what your poetry remix makes visible, and what it doesn’t. In this post, you should reflect on the act of creating your poems and include the text of both poems. Because the contexts for archival documents are essential in considering their language, please consider the history of your archival text(s), including questions such as: why are they in an archive? how did they get there? and, what is the history of the archive itself? Your blog post should include this archival and textual history, and should consider how the historical and textual contexts for your archive and documents inform your readings of the remixed language in your poems. As with our last blog post, this project should be at least 1,000 words and not longer than 2,000.

As part of this project you will:

  • Locate one or two primary source texts
  • Write two or more remixed poems with language from your source texts
  • Research your archival source text(s)’ contexts and examine the histories for the archives in which they are collected
  • Write a blog post that will include:
    • Your remixed poems
    • Your thoughts on act of remix
    • The contexts for your archival source text(s) and the archive(s) in which they are collected

At the end of this unit, you should submit:

  • A blog post reflecting on and including your remixed poems and discussing the archival histories of your texts (submitted by publishing the post on our class site)

Example Archives and Exhibits

Links and Resources

Example Student Projects

Spring 2021

Note that these projects were created for a different version of this project, in which students were asked to create their own archival exhibits.

Fall 2018

Fall 2017