From Community to Curriculum: Translating Social Responsibility into Archival Education

Jeannette Allis Bastian

2019 Allen Smith Symposium

Starts:  4/12/2019  9:00 AM
Ends: 4/13/2019 1:00 PM
Location: M501/502

The Allen Smith Visiting Scholars Program selects an annual scholar-in-residence. Past scholars have spent their time at Simmons teaching, guest lecturing, holding workshops or symposia. The 2019 Allen Smith Symposium, "From Community to Curriculum: Translating Social Responsibility into Archival Education," will gather SLIS faculty and area professionals to engage in discussion. It will also honor the contributions of Professor Jeannette Bastian during her final semester before her retirement.

Over the past decade, archival concerns have increasingly focused on social issues as records professionals recognize and confront the responsibilities and challenges of documenting a complex global and digital society. Although such issues as social justice, community engagement, inclusive access and documenting marginalized populations have predominated in the archival literature, they have yet to be fully translated into archives education curriculum. Bringing together archival educators and practitioners, this symposium seeks to begin a discussion about creating an archival curriculum that addresses contemporary societal needs while at the same time honoring traditional archival theory and that explores theoretical frameworks, methodologies and best practices for teaching archives in a socially conscious environment. 

Symposium & Panel Discussions: Friday, 4/12, 9:00am - 5:00pm
Working Groups: Saturday, 4/13, 9:00am - 1:00pm

This event is free. Register at

Panelists and moderators include:

Peter Botticelli, Simmons SLIS
Michelle Caswell, University of California, Los Angeles
Janet Ceja, Simmons SLIS
Michele Cloonan, Simmons SLIS
Richard Cox, University of Pittsburgh
Jennifer Douglas, University of British Columbia
Andrew Flinn, University of London
Leisa Gibbons, Curtin University-Perth
Alex Poole, Drexel University
Ricardo Punzalan, University of Maryland
Rebecka Sheffield, University of Toronto
Tonia Sutherland, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Katherine Wisser, Simmons SLIS
Beth Yakel, University of Michigan
Jane Zhang, Catholic University

Panel topics include:

  • What is a professional archivist today? Is there still a clear professional identity?
  • Does traditional Western archival theory and practice continue to meet the record-keeping and documenting needs of an increasingly multi-cultural and digital society that honors cultural difference?
  • How deeply should archival curriculum go towards supporting students who are interested in social justice?
  • How do educators translate the compelling global issues of today - social justice, community engagement, inclusive access, under- documented populations - into archives education curriculum?

The Allen Smith Visiting Scholars Program was established in 2008, following the death of Dr. Allen Smith, a beloved faculty member at SLIS for 31 years. Smith taught primarily in the areas of reference, humanities, and oral history. He was also an advocate for the development of the Children’s Literature (MA)/Library Services to Children (MS) dual degree. Dr. Smith earned a Master of Library Science degree at the University of Denver and a Ph.D. at the Institute of Dialect and Folklife Studies at the University of Leeds, England. This fund has brought distinguished scholars to Simmons SLIS annually, including award-winning author Jack Gantos, Dr. Wayne Wiegand and Dr. Paul Sturges. In the selection process, preference is given to scholars whose areas of expertise include oral history, reference, or the humanities.