Schedule of Events

Locations to be added soon.

Thursday, March 1

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The World, the Archives, and the Search for Justice
Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorship Keynote Lecture

Trudy Huskamp Peterson spent twenty-four years with the U.S. National Archives, including more than two years as Acting Archivist of the United States. She was the founding Executive Director of the Open Society Archives in Budapest, Hungary and director of Archives and Records Management for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She currently chairs the International Council on Archives’ Human Rights Working Group and chaired the ICA working group on a standard for access to archives. Now an independent consultant, she works with governments and organizations around the world where archives are crucial to social justice efforts.

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Old Capitol Museum (location tentative)

Opening Reception

7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Voxman Music Building Recital Hall

Visualizing Archives and a Discussion with Filmmaker Bill Morrison
Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorship Keynote Lecture        

Bill Morrison is widely recognized as perhaps the most innovative and influential experimental filmmaker of his generation, especially celebrated for bridging the gap between creative and scholarly practice. His films often draw upon imperfect, incomplete, and visibly decaying archival materials, engaging with material qualities of these fragile artifacts and historical content. He has created five feature-length films, including The Great Flood (2013), which was awarded a 2014 Smithsonian Ingenuity Award for Historical Scholarship.

Friday, March 2

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Panel: Teaching with Archives

10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Living Archives: Constitution Hill in Johannesburg/South Africa

Marie Kruger is an associate professor of African and diasporic literatures and film in the departments of English and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa. She is the author of Women’s Literature in Kenya and Uganda: The Trouble with Modernity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). Her current book project examines the representation and commodification of traumatic memory in South African visual culture including feature and documentary films and a series of multi-media exhibits in the infamous apartheid prison complex in Johannesburg. She will be joined, in person or virtually, by colleagues involved in the management of the heritage installation and the archive on Constitution Hill.  (

Debora Matthews worked for seven years as archival coordinator in the Struggles for Justice Programme at the South African History Archive (SAHA), an independent activist and human rights archive in Johannesburg. SAHA is an independent human rights archive dedicated to documenting, supporting and promoting greater awareness of past and contemporary struggles for justice through archival practices and outreach, and the access to information laws. Established by anti-apartheid activists in the 1980s, SAHA was closely connected in its formative years to the United Democratic Front, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the African National Congress. Matthews archived the Constitution Hill Collection at SAHA  ( She is now an archives consult, currently working for the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI), developing and implementing a records and research data management system. She will also be working as a contract archivist at the GALA (Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action) Archives at the University of the Witwatersrand.

12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Lunch on your own

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Documenting the History of Women’s Reproductive Health: Sterilization and Abortion in and outside the Archive

Johanna Schoen is a professor of History at Rutgers University-New Brunswick with an affiliation at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research. She is the author of Abortion After Roe (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2015) which won the Welch Medal of the American Association for the History of Medicine. She works with abortion providers to preserve the history of legal abortion in the United States and to use historical analysis and insights to help preserve access to abortion care. This presentation will explore the challenges of researching and documenting the history of eugenic sterilization programs and abortion around the country. It will consider options for opening primary source material for public view that states are trying to hide and destroy, while being mindful of HIPPA restrictions and general guidelines of medical ethics.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Searching for African American Family Histories in Oblivious Archives: The Scholar as Autobiographer

Sheri Parks is the Associate Dean for Research and the Founding Director of the Arts and Humanities Center for Synergy at the University of Maryland-Baltimore. Reading from her autobiography in progress exploring her roots through North Carolina back to Africa.

4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Immigration, the Arts, and the Archive

John Rapson is a composer, trombonist, and recording artist for MoMu Records, Music and Arts, Sound Aspects, and Nine Winds. His work mixes ethnic and experimental elements with more conventional jazz forms. He has been a professor of music at the University of Iowa since 1993.

Lisa Schlesinger is an associate professor of theatre arts at the University of Iowa. Her plays include Celestial Bodies, Wal-martyrs, Same Egg, Manny and Chicken, Rock Ends Ahead, The Bones of Danny Winston, and Twenty-One Positions.

7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

“A Darker Presence”: Interpretive Goals and Collecting Strategies in the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Joel Barkan Memorial Keynote Lecture by William S. Pretzer

Looking at the American story through the lens of the African American experience in a national museum presents the opportunity to refashion the national narrative. This process began in earnest in 2005 with no staff, no collection, no building site, no building, and no interpretive plan. Taking advantage of that opportunity required a humanistic vision rooted in scholarship, community recollections and innovative collecting strategies.

William S. Pretzer is the Senior Curator for History of the Smithsonian Institution at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In this year’s Joel Barkan Memorial Lecture, William Pretzer will share the challenges of collecting and displaying this complicated version of American history that stretches from Africa to the Caribbean to the United States.

About the Joel Barkan Memorial Lecture Series

Saturday, March 3

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Whose Nation? Whose Archives? Indigeneity in Canada

Sarah Dupont is an Aboriginal Engagement Librarian, Xwi7xwa Library, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada and Gerry Lawson, a member of the Heiltsuk First Nation, is MOA’s Oral History Language Lab coordinator and digitization trainer. Indigitization Project How–First Nations in Canada are preserving and revitalizing their languages and cultures, including teaching their histories.

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Vox Populi: Archiving a Revolution in the Digital Age

Lara Baladi, an Egyptian-Lebanese artist internationally recognized for her multidisciplinary work, is a lecturer in Photography and Related Media in the Program in Art, Culture & Technology and Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence, Centre for Art, Science & Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Baladi is on the Board of Directors of the Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art in Egypt and the Arab Image foundation in Lebanon. During the 2011 Egyptian revolution and its aftermath, Baladi co-founded two media initiatives, Tahrir Cinema and Radio Tahrir, welcoming contributors to the online archive Vox Populi.

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Lunch on your own

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Activist Archives: Guerrilla Archiving of Disappearing Climate Data

Bethany Wiggin is a professor of Germanic Literatures and Languages and Founding Director of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania. She researches intersections between the early modern period and contemporary theoretical concerns, including global and transnational literature, translation and multilingualism, and the environmental humanities. She is the Dramaturg for A Period of Animate Existence, an opera about climate change made by Troy Herion, Mimi Lien, and Dan Rothenberg and others and held a Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship exploring Floating on Warmer Watersdesigned to expand and thicken collaborative research in and along the Lower Schuylkill River in partnership with Bartram’s Garden, Penn Libraries, Drexel University, and the Lower Schuylkill River Research Seminar. Wiggin was one of the lead scientists in international “guerrilla archiving” of Federal climate change data in 2016.

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Experiencing the Archives: Crochet, Sensors, and Haptic Data

Jacqueline Wernimont is an assistant professor of English, digital scholar, and artist at Arizona State University. She is a Fellow of the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, co-director of HASTAC, and leader of FemTechNet, and founding co-Director of the HS Collab. Her work focuses on new civil rights in digital cultures with a particular emphasis on the long histories of our technologies and practices.

Animating the Archives: Graphic Histories

Rachel Williams is an associate professor in the School of Art and Art History and chair of the Department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa. Her graphic scholarship has been published by the Jane Addams Hull House Museum, the Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education, and the International Journal of Comic Art. Her current projects include a graphic novel about the Detroit Race Riots of 1943 and a mini comic about police brutality. She also discusses her work with incarcerated women in Teaching The Arts Behind Bars (Northeastern University Press, 2003) and in an upcoming collection of short stories. To see her work, visit

5:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Closing Thoughts on Archival Futures