AFEN BC3816 The Worlds of Ntozake Shange and Digital Storytelling. 4 points.
Prerequisites: AFEN BC3815 or equivalent.
This hands-on, project based course introduces students to the use of digital tools and sources to organize and manage their archival research, interpret their findings and communicate their results to the public. This semester, the course is somewhat different than the usual research course in that, rather than simply going more deeply into the course focus, you will be asked to apply your knowledge to make new things. With support of a Mellon "Barnard Teaches" grant we will continue to work with our archival partners and with experts at the International Center for Photography (ICP) to help you develop projects that teach some aspect of Shange's work and/or The Black Arts Movement to a larger audience. But while making these new things, we will have ongoing discussions about the nature of and evolving protocols for digital scholarship. You should be making plans to visit the archive appropriate to your project (in most cases this will be the Schomburg or the Barnard archives, but they might include sites such as The Billy Rose Theatre Division at the NYPL or the Amiri Baraka collection at Columbia University) as well as doing background reading for your project. Unlike last semester's blogging, which focused on developing an interdisciplinary reading practice, this semester you will blog about your research. Every week you should be blogging about your reading or your research: every two weeks your blogpost will be an "archive find of the week" post that highlights an interesting image, document or object discovered in your chosen archive (see assignments sheet for details). You might find it more pleasant (and better for our short-staffed archives) to visit the archive or ICP in small groups. To attain the technical skills necessary to make things, you may sometimes be asked to inform and educate yourself outside of class, using extracurricular resources. Be prepared for some DIY moments throughout the semester. By the end of the semester, you'll have sharpened your research skills while also acquiring digital, teamwork, and project management skills that will be useful in other classes and beyond.