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Into the Archives<p><strong>​Laura Helton</strong> specializes in American literature and history of the twentieth century, with an emphasis on African American print culture and public humanities. Her research and teaching interests include archival studies, memory and material culture, gender and sexuality, and literary practices of the black freedom struggle. Her current book project, <em>Collecting and Collectivity: Black Archival Publics, 1900-1950</em>, examines the emergence of African American archives and libraries to show how historical recuperation shaped forms of racial imagination in the early twentieth century. Professor Helton is co-editor of a special issue of <em>Social Text</em>on "The Question of Recovery: Slavery, Freedom, and the Archive," and her work on the Howard University curator Dorothy Porter is forthcoming in <em>PMLA.</em>She has held fellowships at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia (2013-2015) and at the Center for Humanities & Information at Penn State (2015-2017). In 2016, she was awarded the Zuckerman Prize in American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, awarded for the best dissertation connecting American history to literature or art in any period. Professor Helton's interest in the social history of archives arose from her earlier career as an archivist. She has surveyed and processed collections that document the civil rights era, women's movement, and American radicalism for several cultural institutions, including the Mississippi Digital Library, Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, CityLore, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She has also worked with arts organizations as a grant writer and curator.  She holds a B.A. in  Anthropology, Barnard College; an M.A. History, New York University; an M.L.I.S. Library & Information Studies, Rutgers University; and a Ph.D. History, New York University.  </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>​“Into the Archives” is a pair of courses that introduce students to archival practice and theorythrough immersion in African American collections at the University of Delaware and beyond.The undergraduate course, “Into the Archives: The Ephemeral Langston Hughes” beginswith one literary figure—the poet, playwright, and activist Langston Hughes—to ask studentswhat it means not only to archive, but also to think, write, and act archivally.  The companion graduate seminar in theory and methods, “Archives Theory,” will take up a related set of questions about the construction of the archive, giving students a toolkit of theory,keywords, and practices to support their independent work in the field of public humanities.</p><p>​Course exhibition catalog the students edited after the Into the Archives class on Langston Hughes <a href="/Rotator%20PDFs/Catalog_final.pdf">Catalog_final.pdf</a><br></p><p><br></p>lehelton

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