Schedule

Pre-conference event on Wednesday, February 28
4:00-5:45 p.m. | 302 Schaeffer Hall
Workshop with Trudy Huskamp Peterson: “Access to Archives: What Every Researcher Should Know”
Open to all

Thursday, March 1

12:30 – 1:45 p.m. | E220 Adler Journalism Building
Artist talk by Bill Morrison, Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor: “Consider the Source”
Moderator: Paula Amad, Associate Professor and Chair, Cinematic Arts
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In this talk, internationally acclaimed filmmaker Bill Morrison, who has been described as an “archival alchemist” and the “Orpheus of nitrate,” will explore the profound aesthetic, thematic, and formal imprint of diverse film archives upon his work. He will organize his work in groups by their relationship to their original source material and the archive from which they were culled.
He writes, “There have been films in which I have re-edited a single shot or multiple scenes from a single film, those sourced from multiple films a single archive or collection, and those that have told stories woven out of the pits and pieces of many films taken from many different archives. By examining clips from some of these titles from each category, I will draw some conclusions about how source affects intention and meaning in my work.”
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Bill Morrison is an internationally acclaimed experimental filmmaker best known for films that draw upon rare and often decaying archival material as sources for profound meditations on history and memory, and the ephemerality of both human life and mass media. Morrison’s work has often been produced in collaboration with innovative and influential composers, including John Adams, Bill Frissell, Philip Glass, and the Kronos Quartet, among many others. In 2013, his 2002 feature Decasia was added to the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress, making it the first film created in the 21st century to appear on that prestigious list. In 2014, his feature The Great Flood (2013), was awarded a Smithsonian Ingenuity Award for Historical Scholarship.[placeholder text]
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Old Capitol Museum Senate Chambers
Trudy Huskamp Peterson: “Best When Used By: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”

Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorship Keynote Lecture
Moderator: Linda Kerber, May Brodbeck Professor in the Liberal Arts; Professor Emerita, History; Lecturer in Law
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“Use it or lose it” can apply to muscle tone, the ability to speak a foreign language, annual leave that will disappear at the end of a year, or sex drive. And, tweaked a little into “best when used by,” it might refer to food going bad in the refrigerator or, conversely, the very best time to eat, say, a pear for premium ripeness. All of these phrases imply action by someone. Many people have heard, if vaguely, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A smaller number have read it, and even fewer have cited it for support in an argument. It is the grey document in the background about which people nod sagely. But if that is all it is—if it is not used, and used by us all—do we also risk losing our commitment to the principles it declares?
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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.

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5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. | Old Capitol Museum, First Floor
Opening Reception
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7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. | Voxman Music Building Recital Hall
Bill Morrison: Film Screening and Q&A
Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor
Moderator: Chris Harris, Associate Professor and Head of Film & Video Production, Cinematic Arts

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Bill Morrison will be screening his most recent feature film, Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016, 2 hrs), which premiered at the New York Film Festival, and has gone on to receive a number of major awards. Built upon the discovery of hundreds of reels of early film that were buried in the Canadian Yukon territory in 1978, Morrison’s poetic documentary engages with the complex intertwining of recorded history and human memory that has become a central concern in his work. The New York Times praised Dawson City: Frozen Time as “an instantaneously recognizable masterpiece.”[Placeholder text]
Bill Morrison is an internationally acclaimed experimental filmmaker best known for films that draw upon rare and often decaying archival material as sources for profound meditations on history and memory, and the ephemerality of both human life and mass media. Morrison’s work has often been produced in collaboration with innovative and influential composers, including John Adams, Bill Frissell, Philip Glass, and the Kronos Quartet, among many others. In 2013, his 2002 feature Decasia was added to the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress, making it the first film created in the 21st century to appear on that prestigious list. In 2014, his feature The Great Flood (2013), was awarded a Smithsonian Ingenuity Award for Historical Scholarship.

Friday, March 2

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | MERGE (136 S. Dubuque St.)
Teaching with Archives: An Interactive Conversation
Moderator: Teresa Mangum, Professor, Gender, Women’s, & Sexuality Studies and English; Public Policy Center; Director, Obermann Center for Advanced Studies
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How can we inspire current and future generations to seek evidence in archives? Librarians, archivists, curators, and instructors share successes, failures, and opportunities for collaboration in this roundtable discussion.
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10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | MERGE (136 S. Dubuque St.)
Marie Kruger and Debora Matthews: “Living Archives: Constitution Hill in Johannesburg/South Africa”
Moderator: Teresa Mangum, Professor, Gender, Women’s, & Sexuality Studies and English; Public Policy Center; Director, Obermann Center for Advanced Studies
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The subject of this presentation, Constitution Hill, is a unique “living archive” in the center of Johannesburg. It is a former prison complex that commemorates the experiences of those detained during apartheid; it is a multifunctional urban location that features the new Constitutional Court; and it is the home of the South African History Archive with its roots in the anti-apartheid struggle and its current task of managing the Constitution Hill Collection.​
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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.
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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. – 1:15 p.m. | MERGE (136 S. Dubuque St.)
Adam Khalil: “Counter-Archive: Filming Your Way Out of the Past”
Light lunch provided
Moderator: Jason Livingston, Filmmaker and Video Production, Cinematic Arts
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Native American experimental filmmaker Adam Khalil will screen his and his brothers’ short film The Violence of a Civilisation Without Secrets (2017, 10 min) and discuss their upcoming film (tentatively titled Ancestors in the Archives), which deals with archives and American Indian repatriation rights. Q&A to follow. 

Adam Shingwak Khalil (Ojibway) is a filmmaker and artist. His practice attempts to subvert traditional forms of ethnography through humor, relation, and transgression. Adam’s work has been exhibited at MoMA, Sundance, the Walker Arts Center, e-flux, UnionDocs, Microscope Gallery (New York), and Museo ExTeresa Arte Actual (Mexico City). Khalil is a 2018 Sundance Art of Non Fiction grant recipient, 2018 Sundance Indigenous Initiative Fellow, UnionDocs Collaborative Fellow, and Gates Millennium Scholar. In 2011, he graduated from the Film and Electronic Arts program at Bard College.

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. | Iowa City Public Library
Johanna Schoen: “Documenting the History of Women’s Reproductive Health: Sterilization and Abortion In and Outside the Archive”
Moderator: Mariola Espinosa, Associate Professor, History; Faculty Director, Global Health Studies Program
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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.
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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 (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. 

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Iowa City Public Library
Sheri Parks: “Direct Descendant in the Archives—A Scholarly and Emotional African American Family History”
Moderator: Lena Hill, Associate Professor, English and African American Studies; Special Assistant to the President; Interim Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President

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Sheri Parks will discuss and read from her autobiography in-progress, which explores her roots through North Carolina back to Africa.
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Sheri Parks is associate professor of American Studies and immediate past Associate Dean for Research at the University of Maryland–Baltimore. She is also the Founding Director of her university’s Arts and Humanities Center for Synergy.

4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Iowa City Public Library
Lisa Schlesinger and John Rapson: “Immigration, the Arts, and the Archive”
Moderator: Joyce Tsai, Curator of Art, University of Iowa Museum of Art; Clinical Associate Professor, Arts Education
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Jazz musician John Rapson and playwright Lisa Schlesinger have each worked with fellow artists and performers to capture the pain, possibility, and complex movements and emotions of immigrants’ experience through artistic media. Rapson’s story is based on a fantastical but true story about a young Afghan who left home near the Khyber Pass, wandered through India, and ended up eventually in Sheridan, Wyoming, selling tamales. From the initial story published in The New Yorker, Rapson created a thirteen-movement work about immigration, citizenship, and home. His music includes lilting Western ballads, gentle Mexican waltzes, folk melodies from the East, evocative tone poems, and raucous ragtime that complement period photographs. In what they call a “film opera,” Lisa Schlesinger, a Russian filmmaker, and a French theatre director created Iphigenia at Lesvos: Story of a Refugee, the culminating performance piece of The Iphigenia Project, a multiyear, trans-media collaboration to focus attention on the contemporary plight of refugees. After showing clips of these performances, Rapson and Schlesinger will engage in a conversation about the fascinating ways music, theatre, and visual art can present moving, embodied archives of human experience.
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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.
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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.
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7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | Shambaugh Auditorium, UI Main Library
William Pretzer: “A Darker Presence: Interpretive Goals and Collecting Strategies in the National Museum of African American History and Culture”
Joel Barkan Memorial Keynote Lecture
Welcome: 
Downing Thomas, Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs
Moderator: Sue Curry, 
Interim Executive Vice President and Provost
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Since its opening, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has drawn record crowds. Simply getting an entry ticket is an accomplishment. To create such a powerful, moving series of exhibits required years of searching, legions of donors who had to be convinced their family treasures would be preserved carefully and displayed respectfully, and the overcoming of innumerable obstacles. The organization of the museum also had to tell the painful story of the Middle Passage so many endured as they were torn from their homes in Africa and forced into slavery in America. William Pretzer was part of the team that built this stunning collection, a story he shares in the Joel Barkan Memorial Keynote Lecture.
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William S. Pretzer is Senior Curator of History at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, a position he has held since 2009. In this position, he co-curated one of the Museum’s inaugural exhibitions, A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond, developed targeted collecting initiatives to build the Museum’s collection, and supervised the work of a group of curators and museum specialists during the pre-building operations of a museum in the making. Since the Museum opened to the public in September 2016, he has focused on creating a Center for the Study of African American Innovation and Entrepreneurship and collecting in the areas of business, labor, science and technology. Previously, Bill worked at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the Winterthur Museum in Delaware, and, in Michigan, the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. He has taught courses on social history at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, and the history of technology and museum studies at Central Michigan University where he also directed the university museum.
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Saturday, March 3

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. | MERGE (136 S. Dubuque St.)
Sarah Dupont and Gerry Lawson: “Whose Nation? Whose Archives? Indigeneity in Canada”
Moderator: John Doershuk, State Archaeologist
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Dupont and Lawson will discuss their Indigitization Project and how First Nations in Canada are preserving and revitalizing their languages and cultures, including teaching their histories.
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Sarah Dupont is Aboriginal Engagement Librarian at Xwi7xwa Library, University of British Columbia, and Gerry Lawsona member of the Heiltsuk First Nation, is the UBC Museum of Anthropology’s Oral History Language Lab coordinator and digitization trainer. 
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11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. |MERGE (136 S. Dubuque St.)
Elizabeth Maddock Dillon: “Colonial Histories and Digital Possibilities: The Digital Archive of the Early Caribbean”
Moderator: Loyce Arthur, Associate Professor, Theatre Arts 
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This talk will explore the colonial history of archive building and considers ways in which digital archives can engage in creative strategies of “remix” to decolonize the archive.
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Elizabeth Maddock Dillon is Professor and Chair of the Department of English and Co-director of the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks at Northeastern University. She is the founder of the award-winning crowd-sourced digital archive Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive, and the co-founder and co-director of the Early Caribbean Digital Archive.
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12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch on your own
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1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. | MERGE (136 S. Dubuque St.)
Bethany Wiggin: “Building Data Refuge in an Era of Fake News”
Moderator: Tyler Priest, Associate Professor, History and Geographical & Sustainability Sciences
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Bethany Wiggin will discuss Data Refuge, which she and her co-founders launched November 2016 to draw attention to how climate denial endangers federal environmental data. With the help of thousands of civic partners and volunteers, the project has rapidly spread to over fifty cities and towns across the country. Now, Data Refuge is building a storybank to document how data lives in the world—and how it connects people, places, and non-human species.ext]
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Bethany Wiggin is Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and is Founding Director of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities and holds appointments in the Departments of German and English and the Program in Comparative Literature. Her research explores the history of the book and material culture, the rise of commodity culture, and the transformation of the Atlantic world in the wake of long-distance sea-born trade. She is at work on Utopia Found, Lost, and Re-Imagined in Penn’s Woods. She was Dramaturg for A Period of Animate Existence, an opera about climate change made by Troy Herion, Mimi Lien, and Dan Rothenberg, and others. A recipient of a Whiting Fellowship for Public Engagement, she designed the project Floating on Warmer Waters to expand collaborative research in and along the Lower Schuylkill River.
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3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. | MERGE (136 S. Dubuque St.)
Where Art and Humanities Meet in the Archives
Moderator: Teresa Mangum, Professor, Gender, Women’s, & Sexuality Studies and English; Public Policy Center; Director, Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

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For this session, we have asked Jacqueline Wernimont and Rachel Williams to discuss how they go about deciding when to bring archives alive through scholarly publication or through their arts practice.
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Jacqueline Wernimont: “Safe Harbor: Art, an Ethics of Care, and Californian Eugenics”

Special Guest of the Andrew W. Mellon-funded Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry: A Grinnell College/University of Iowa Partnership

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There is no data without people. Sometimes, there is no history without data. “Safe Harbor” is an immersive installation arising from the work of the Eugenic Rubicon project, in which Wernimont and her colleagues combine public health and history methodologies and creative approaches to digital humanities and new media art, all while foregrounding commitments to social and reproductive justice. Of particular concern in this installation is the balance between the public right to know about this history and individual’s right to privacy and how sonic and haptic media might help achieve that balance.
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Jacqueline Wernimont is an anti-racist, feminist scholar working toward greater justice in digital cultures. She writes about long histories of media and technology—particularly those that count and commemorate—and entanglements with archives and historiographic ways of knowing. She is a network weaver across humanities, arts, and sciences. This work includes co-Directing HASTAC and ASU’s Human Security Collaboratory. She also runs Nexus: A digital research co-op and is a fellow of the Global Security Institute.
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Rachel Williams: “Animating the Archives: Graphic Histories”
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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 http://rachelwilliams.squarespace.com.
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4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | MERGE (136 S. Dubuque St.)
Collective Reflections on Archives
Moderator: Teresa Mangum, Professor, Gender, Women’s, & Sexuality Studies and English; Public Policy Center; Director, Obermann Center for Advanced Studies
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We conclude our symposium by inviting participants to share reflections on the issues raised during our two days of conversation with artists, humanities scholars, archivists, and activists. Looking ahead, how can we more energetically and imaginatively integrate community, campus, state, federal, and international archives into our teaching, arts, and research practices? How do we ensure the creation, maintenance, and interpretation of archives, particularly those that hold stories powerful people and institutions would prefer to suppress? Also, what are the most effective ways to support the work of academic, professional, and community archives and archivists? What strategies can we use to educate non-specialists—from university administrators and budget officers, to city councilors and legislators, to governments—about the value of documenting, preserving, animating, and deploying the documents, objects, sounds, images, earth, ice, flesh, bones, bodies, memories, and other ephemera that not only reveal who “we” were, but also offer a path to what we—as local, national, and global communities can be.
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5:00–6:00 p.m. | MERGE (136 S. Dubuque St.)
Gallery Tour and Closing Reception
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We welcome you to continue the conversation informally as we shift to a tour of our pop-up exhibit, featuring the work of Rachel Williams and Jacqueline Wernimont, and a closing reception to thank our guests and participants for joining us. We look forward to seeing you at next year’s symposium, which will focus on “Misfitting,” an approach being explored by scholars in the field of disability studies.

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