This site hosts counter-archive projects produced by students in the Media and Cultural Analysis course at NYU. See assignment instructions below.
For this project, you will assemble a collection of things that have never been assembled before, and which you can access repeatedly: images, audio, objects (and/or digital derivatives of objects). Adopt the role of a curator and archivist by looking for primary materials, and consider that each of the things you include in your set has a history that can be told in several ways. Be creative with what and how you gather resources. Think about how putting artifacts on display pulls you into the work of producing history.
As you build your collection, consider how historical narratives take shape. How, if so, can these archival materials (in the broadest sense of the “archive”) be used strategically to push up against dominant histories? How do sites beyond the traditional museum or archive might produce new histories? Whose perspective is taken? What institutional support makes an archive possible? How are archives mobilized for various causes?
You will then design a digital exhibition of your assembled collection, adding metadata for each of the items you’ve collected, and creating a historical narrative that brings them together. In this process, you should consider how your archive dialogues with, or challenges an existing archive.
Find here some questions you should consider while designing your project. A draft version of your project should be presented in an in-class workshop on 11/12. Final project is due on 11/19.
Using this platform, you will be able to upload images, text, video, and audio to create your own archive. Click here for some brief Omeka instructions geared towards your project.
In order to log in, click here. Your username is your NYU Net ID, and you must reset your password to gain access.
You should include the following elements in your final project:
- Archive items (the items you have collected, that will constitute your archive).
- Metadata for each item, including a number of tags that you find relevant.
- An “about” (or “home”) page with a brief introduction to your archive.
- An overall narrative (a historiographic account) that explains what kind of intervention you are enacting, how you made your selections, how you organized your archive and why, what silences remain (if any), what arguments one might make using your archive as support, etc.
- Cross-reference essays (sub-narratives) that briefly comment on (at least some of) the tags you used to organize your archive.
- A “Credits” page in which you add your bios. This is to attribute authorship to your website. (Note: if you’d like your work to remain anonymous, please let me know.)
Some examples of online exhibits:
- The Whiskey Rebellion: An Interactive Mapping Project (Omeka)
- Heroes and Villains: Silver Age of Comics (Omeka)
- California Women for Agriculture (Omeka)
- Making the History of 1989 (Omeka)
- A History of Video Game Violence (Omeka)
- Complex TV (Scalar)
- Performing Archive: Curtis + “the Vanishing Race” (Scalar)
- Every Single Word Spoken by a Person of Color in [Mainstream Film Title] (Tumblr)