GLAM Featured Collection: LGBTQ+ Pride Month

This month, the GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning’s featured collection celebrates LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer + other groups) Pride. This year’s Pride Month marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, widely considered to be the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement. Here at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, our Archives Research Center has been making a concerted effort to increase the amount of collections related to LGBTQ+ material in order to more accurately reflect the breadth of the African American community. For decades the LGBTQ+ community at the AUC, as they were in the rest of the country, remained silent and hidden. The Archives Research Center is committed to expanding our collections to increase LGBTQ+ representation, recognizing the value these collections provide as a scholarly resource.

Josephine Baker stands between Harold Jackman and Noble Sissle

From left to right: Harold Jackman, Josephine Baker, and Noble Sissle

Our featured collection highlights many photographs from our Countee Cullen-Harold Jackman Memorial Collection of black entertainers including Josephine Baker and Bessie Smith. The collection also contains correspondence from writer James Baldwin and a poem from Angelina Grimké. Additionally, the Archives Research Center holds a collection of BLK, a monthly magazine published from 1988 to 1994 with the motto “where the news is colored on purpose,” which covered people, events, and issues relevant to LBGT African American readers.

BLK magazine cover featuring RuPaul standing next to a seated Santa Claus with the tagline "RuPaul: Gag on the Glamour"

1993 cover of BLK Magazine featuring drag icon, RuPaul

Due to the sensitive nature of some materials, we have opted to digitize a small sampling of our collection to share online. If you’re interested in viewing more of our LGBTQ+ materials, please contact the Archives Research Center at archives@auctr.edu to make an appointment.

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GLAM Collaboration Spotlight: Morehouse Art Song Project – Aaron Carter-Ényì, Ph.D.

The GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning aims to simulate teaching and learning across multiple disciplines through innovative engagement with archival material and artifacts. This month’s spotlight features Morehouse Professor Aaron Carter-Ényì, PhD and his MUS 351/352 Advanced Theory of Music students. Dr. Carter-Ényì students developed original musical compositions based on poetry written by former AUC students found in the AUC Archives Research Center, Atlanta University Printed and Published Materials.

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About the Project:

This assignment first developed in Fall 2016, my first semester of teaching at Morehouse. One of the most memorable experiences of project-based learning from my undergraduate education was writing an art song using advanced harmonic vocabulary. Given autonomy for revising the curriculum for MUS 351/2 Advanced Theory of Music, I immediately decided to include a similar assignment, with a few modifications. The most important were: (1) students were encouraged to select a Black poet, in line with the Morehouse mission; (2) completed compositions would be given a public performance. The first year we focused on major poets in the public domain, from Pushkin to Langston Hughes (in 2016, several of Hughes’s poems entered the public domain). In 2017, a student requested that he base his composition on a poem by a friend which begin to change the dynamic from renowned, canonic (“great”) poets to poets of the AUC community (who may also be “great” but we won’t know if we ignore them!).

In 2018, after attending the GLAM Session hosted by Martina Dodd, I decided to add the requirement that the poetry be sourced from the AUC Archives Research Center and the students responded enthusiastically to this. Because of the extraordinary quality of the art songs composed in the Fall of 2018, I asked professional vocalists on the faculty of Morehouse (Tim Miller, tenor) and Spelman (Hanan Davis, soprano) to perform the student works. Art songs by five students were premiered to a large audience during “Students in Recital” on April 17, 2019 at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center.

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Ordered Process of Student Learning Objectives and Outcomes:

  1. Select a thematic area for poetry you are interested in (e.g. romance; activism)
  2. Learn about and discuss concepts related to intellectual property issues with poetry and song composition (including “public domain” and “fair use”)
  3. Conduct archival research to find poetry in Atlanta University Center publications
  4. Apply existing knowledge of advanced harmonic techniques (e.g. tonicization, mode mixture) and art song forms (strophic, modified strophic or through-composed) in a composition based on poetry found in the AUC Archives Research Center
  5. Prepare a performance-ready score using professional engraving software (e.g. Finale or Sibelius) and responding to revisions suggested by the instructor
  6. Attend and critique rehearsals with performers, providing guidance on interpretation
  7. Select images and create a multimedia presentation to accompany the musical performance
  8. Record verbal program notes for the composition
  9. Edit a video integrating verbal program notes and the live performance

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Final Projects:

Click links below to watch the performances and hear each student discuss their process of selecting a poem from the AUC Archives Research Center and developing it into an art song.

Donovan Polk (b. 1997)
“Loves Reflection” by Don Gilbert

Tyler Baker (b. 1997)
“Waves” by Grady Farley

Linton McNeeley (b. 1997)
“I Climbed Too” by Fannie Franklin

Kaleb Lewis (b. 1997)
“My Sin” by the Enigma

Ridge White (b. 1998)
“Come Toast Joe Dope” by Cpt. Nathaniel Tillman Jr.

Artstor Workshop Recap

On May 8th, the GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning held our final faculty development workshop of the spring semester. Representatives from Artstor were on hand to provide an overview of this excellent resource available at the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library. Artstor is a digital library with millions of interdisciplinary images from the world’s museums, libraries, archives, scholars, and artists that makes it easy to share, research, curate, and teach with visual materials.

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AUC Reference Librarian Jordan Moore shows workshop attendees how to find the Artstor database from the library’s homepage.

Artstor is an excellent resource that can provide users with copyright-cleared images to use in papers, lectures, and in conference presentations. In addition to artwork, Artstor images can be used in support of a number of academic disciplines including African American studies, Native American studies, and religious studies. Attendees of the workshop not only viewed a live demonstration on how to use Artstor, but also a demonstration of one of Artstor’s newest tools, Copyright Checkpoint, which assists users in determining the copyright status of images from their own collections.

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AUC faculty discuss how they incorporate images into their teaching.

Be sure to stay tuned to our blog to see what the GLAM Center will be working on over the summer break. We’ll be back with more faculty development workshops and exhibits this fall!

GLAM Center Featured Collection: Atlanta University Center Commencement Ceremonies Throughout the Years

Graduation season is upon us and the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library’s GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning is taking the month of May to celebrate our #AUCgrads past and present!

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Spelman Commencement 1979, image courtesy of Spelman College Archives

This month’s featured collection on the GLAM portal highlights images from AUC Woodruff’s Archives Research Center collections and the Spelman College Archives. In addition to photos from the Atlanta University, Morris Brown, and ITC photograph collections, our featured collection also has fantastic images from former Morehouse president Hugh M. Gloster’s photographs collection; ITC’s Isaac R. Clark Memorial Collection and James H. Costen collection, and former Clark College president Vivian Wilson Henderson’s papers.

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Professors in the Audience at the I.T.C. Graduation Ceremony, 1979, James H. Costen collection

With images from AUC commencements spanning from around 1900 to 2005, you can find such notable figures at AUC commencements including former Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson, President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter, James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, and Oprah Winfrey. Most importantly, these images celebrate the achievements of AUC students, past and present.

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Maynard Jackson, Benjamin Hooks, Dr. Hugh Gloster, and James Baldwin at Commencement, circa 1976, Hugh M. Gloster photographs

All commencement season long, we hope that our current 2019 graduates and AUC alumni share their commencement memories with us on Facebook and Twitter at @AUCWoodruffLib and on Instagram at @auc_woodruff using the hashtag #AUCgrads. 

“Incorporating Archives Into the Curriculum” Workshop Recap

On April 24th, the GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning hosted its penultimate faculty development workshop of the spring semester at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library.  Presented by the Archives Research Center’s Public Services Archivist, Tiffany Atwater Lee, “Incorporating Archives Into the Curriculum: Dos and Don’ts of Planning and Scheduling Archival Classroom Sessions” provided attendees with an overview of the instruction services available from the Archives Research Center and strategies to plan for best incorporating archival materials into their classrooms.

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Lee began her presentation with an overview of AUC Woodruff’s Archives Research Center and its available resources before discussing how best to incorporate archives into instruction. The Archives Research Center’s instruction philosophy is built around the concept that primary source engagement builds critical thinking and information literacy skills, which can make students more engaged learners and better-informed citizens. Visiting the archives is a high impact educational practice, like first-year seminars or service learning opportunities, which research has demonstrated has a significant impact on student success. Lee then discussed how Archives and GLAM Center staff can work with professors to incorporate the use of primary source materials into assignments. The workshop culminated with faculty brainstorming ways to include archival materials in their instruction and filling out an archives instruction plan.

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If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can work with the Archives Research Center, email archives@auctr.edu. Be sure not to miss our final workshop of the spring semester on using the image database ARTstor with AUC Reference Librarian Jordan Moore on Wednesday, May 8th at 11 AM in room 215 of the Woodruff Library!

Spelman Gallery Tour Faculty Workshop Recap

On April 4th, The GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning hosted a faculty development workshop at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art.  Anne Collins Smith, Curator of Collections, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, led a gallery tour of her exhibition Presence: Mediations on the Spelman College Collection, a selection of the Spelman College’s newest gifts and latest acquisitions. Presence features work by Mequitta Ahuja, Firelei Báez, Nandipha Mntambo, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Deborah Roberts, Berni Searle, Carrie Mae Weems, Billie Zangewa, and many other critically acclaimed women artists. Smith spoke to the group of professors and librarians about her curatorial process for selecting the exhibited works of art while also providing a more in-depth understanding of iona rozeal brown’s “a3blackface #65,” Fabiola Jean-Louis’s  “Madame Beauvoir’s Painting,” and Vanessa German’s “Delia on the Plane.”

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Anne Collins Smith discusses her exhibition with AUC faculty members

Faculty were given the opportunity to closely examine these artworks, ask questions and discuss how their students could engage with the exhibit in a way that would enhance their critical thinking skills.  Direct correlations to assigned class readings and current events were made by many of the participants.  “Given the current recurrence of the issue of blackface in our politics in Virginia,” one professor noted after the workshop, “the painting on that issue [iona rozeal brown’s “a3blackface #65”] offers a different take on the subject of diasporic identity and how it intersects with peoples of other cultures. It raises the question of how and why there would be a trend of appropriating African American cultural forms in a place like Japan and the impact of Hip Hop in popularizing Black culture globally.”

Presence: Mediations on the Spelman College Collection is on view until May 18th at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art.

“Incorporating Oral Histories into Curriculum” Workshop Recap

On April 10th, we held our latest GLAM Faculty Development workshop, “Incorporating Oral Histories into Curriculum” with the Atlanta University Center’s Robert W. Woodruff Library’s Archives Research Center Processing Archivist, Brittany Newberry. During this workshop Newberry provided an overview of the basics of oral histories as a scholarly resource, their limitations and challenges, and the dos and don’ts of conducting an oral history interview.

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Brittany Newberry explains the basics of conducting oral history interviews

Workshop attendees learned that oral history interviews can serve as a useful way of filling in the gaps when researching a particular topic by connecting personal experiences with the historical narrative. Though these interviews are subjective, and based on personal memory, they are still a valuable form of historical records because of the personal aspect of the record. After Newberry discussed the steps to conducting an oral history interview, technologies available, and the ethical considerations of oral histories, workshop participants paired off with one another to conduct mock oral history interviews.

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Workshop attendees partner up to practice mock oral history interviews

If you are interested in a consultation with Archives Research Center staff to incorporate an oral history assignment into your course, you can reach them by email at archives@auctr.edu

Teaching with Exhibitions Workshop Recap

The second GLAM Faculty Development workshop of the year, “Teaching with Exhibitions,” occurred last month at the AUC Woodruff Library’s Archives Research Center. During this workshop Martina Dodd, GLAM Museum Education Curator, gave a guided tour of both the Archives Research Center’s exhibition entitled, Black Interiors: Envisioning A Place of Our Own, and its accompanying digital exhibition.  The physical exhibition showcases archival documents, photographs and memorabilia related to the continuous efforts of those within the African Diaspora to designate and create communities of their own within the United States and abroad.  The digital exhibition includes artwork from Clark Atlanta University Art Museum’s and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art’s permanent collections to offer a glimpse into private rooms of the home to depict precious moments of solitude and contemplation, as well as personal letters, family photos, and diary entries from the Archives Research Center.

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During the workshop participants learned how to access and navigate the digital exhibition and corresponding LibGuide. LibGuides provide resources for visitors to further their research on the various topics and themes presented in the exhibit through: supplemental questions, lists of articles and books related to each theme and other online databases.

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After the tour Dodd led an art analysis activity which required each person to visually analysis an artwork included in the exhibition.  This activity acted as a great segue for participants to discuss the themes presented in each exhibition case ranging from gentrification, housing develop/displacement, gender roles, global Black cultural exchange, the aesthetics of the home and more.  Direct links were made between ideas raised in the exhibitions to course content.

GLAM Workshop Recap: Teaching With Objects Across Disciplines

On February 28th, GLAM, in partnership with the Atlanta University Center Collective for the Study of Art History and Curatorial Studies, held its first faculty training workshop of the spring semester: Teaching With Objects Across Disciplines. Following a viewing of current exhibitions at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Lowery Stokes Sims, Ph.D., former curator at the Metropolitan Museum of New York and former executive director of the Studio Museum of Harlem, led a lively discussion on curricular engagement with museum objects. Sims discussed the practices of basket weaving and pottery throughout the African diaspora and the ways discussion of these kinds of material objects can be adapted for a variety of subjects.

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Lowery Stokes Sims discussing teaching with objects to GLAM Faculty Fellows, RWWL librarians and AUC students

 

Make sure not to miss our next workshop on March 18th, Teaching with Exhibitions, being held in the Archives Research Center at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library.

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Faculty Fellows touring Spelman’s current exhibit before the workshop

GLAM Faculty Fellow Spotlight: Dr. Charmayne Patterson

The GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning’s Faculty Fellows program aims to provide AUC faculty with training in object-based pedagogy and techniques. This month’s spotlight features GLAM Faculty Fellow, Dr. Charmayne E. Patterson. Dr. Patterson is a Clark Atlanta University professor in the department of African American Studies, Africana Women’s Studies, and History.

Dr. Charmayne Patterson

Last semester I collaborated with the GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning to create assignments for several of my courses. I have been a long time proponent of libraries and regularly consult with library staff to aid in the development of course assignments. It is important that students are aware of the extensive resources and services available through the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library. Students are often unaware of the library’s holdings and unsure about how to effectively utilize those holdings for inclusion in their course work. Knowing all of this, the GLAM Center seemed to be the perfect place to identify innovative ways to promote both engagement with valuable yet underutilized resources and students’ visual literacy.

Student interaction with the GLAM Center varied by course. The United States History to 1865 class attended one library session where they were introduced to the concept of “visual literacy.” The group of mostly incoming freshmen seemed to really enjoy exercises where they analyzed images and made inferences based on visual cues. The session encouraged them to move beyond their initial presumptions and to ask questions about what they were viewing. What was it a picture of? When was the photograph taken? Why was the painting organized that way? By stressing the importance of both content and context for visual sources, the session proved to be a perfect complement to the written evaluations of primary sources that students completed later in the semester.

My History of Africa Since 1800 class participated in an object study session at Clark Atlanta University Art Museum Gallery. The assignment created for that class required students to critically assess individual works of art, including paintings and sculptures. The object study was literally a “hands-on” experience as students were allowed to touch, hold, and study select pieces from CAU’s permanent collection. The pieces selected by the GLAM staff helped to foster conversations during our unit on the Trans-Atlantic slave trade as students compared the art to the human bodies that were taken from the continent, both as commodities. They also were able to see the art as reflective of the culture of the African Diaspora and identified similarities between the African art and some of the pieces by African American artists that were on exhibit in the gallery.

For my African American History to 1865 course, the GLAM staff and I collaborated to develop an assignment in which students would curate individual exhibits. The Center created a collection of about fifteen images; each student selected three images that were then placed in conversation with one another to tell a unique story. I was impressed by some of the final projects, as students sought to tell the story of enslavement and emancipation through the use of these images. Their visual displays provided powerful imagery to underscore what they were learning in the course and highlighted themes such as commodification, family, and resistance to slavery.

My experience with the GLAM Center was a positive one. Students came away from the courses with an additional skill set (the ability to critically engage visual, as well as written sources.) The assignments were distinctive and overall, enjoyable. This semester, I am looking forward to working with the PHENOMENAL GLAM team to find even more ways to enhance my teaching!