Julie Shayne, Ph.D.

Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
Latin American and Caribbean Studies

“Creating Counter Archives: The University of Washington Bothell’s Feminist Community Archives of Washington Project” [Working title] by Julie Shayne, Dave Ellenwood, Denise Hattwig, and Taylor Hiner

This is a paper I am co-authoring with librarians and a student about feminist pedagogy, knowledge production, and community archives. We/I have also presented different versions of it at academic conferences, including the 2016 Northwest Archivist Conference and the 2016 National Women’s Studies Association. Using feminist pedagogical practices that incorporate student knowledge production and digital scholarship methods, a team of us at the University of Washington Bothell founded the online, open-access archive of feminist community activism. Faculty, students, and the library partner with local feminist and gender justice organizations to develop content for the archive. As part of a core Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (GWSS) course I teach, students collect artifacts and conduct interviews with activists that document the current work and histories of their organizations. The UWB Library archives these materials and makes them available in an open-access, online, digital collection. We contend that the assignment and archive, in addition to being a repository for potentially forgotten histories, are projects that embody intersectional feminist praxis and work toward upsetting the academic hierarchy. In our paper and presentations, we explain the assignment and archive in the context of intersectional feminism.

I really enjoy working on this project for a host of reasons. First, it has involved a lot of interdisciplinary collaboration and reflection and thus the learning that results from both. I am the lead author of the article and the co-authors are two librarians (Denise and Dave) who are also co-founders of the archive, and a student (Taylor) who was in the class and worked tirelessly to archive their partner organization’s history (The Gender Justice League.) Denise and Dave have taught me a lot about the politics and process of archives and archiving, open-access, and digital collections. And as most professors know, there is nothing more informative when assessing our courses and assignments than hearing the reflections of amazing students. Second, it has been really exciting to learn and write about community based research and teaching as I have co-created the archive and assignment. Next, the creation of my course, the assignment, and archive coincide with the development of our GWSS degree of which I am the Faculty Coordinator and it is very energizing to work on all three of these projects simultaneously. Finally, being on the lecturer track at UWB means my primary duties are instructional and I have more freedom to do activist scholarship. Central to my pedagogy is mentoring undergraduate students and I find great pleasure in involving students in my research and mentoring them on their own. When Denise, Dave, and I started brainstorming the paper we knew we wanted to involve a student to explain the assignment and archive from their perspective and it has been wonderful working with Taylor.

In short, what began as a class assignment has now turned into a long term, interdisciplinary research project, based on faculty-student-librarian collaboration and resulted in conference presentations, the archive, and (eventually) a journal article.