WriteGirl In The Archives

The In-between Time

Field Assignment TEDxTalk: Dominique Luster, the Charles “Teenie” Harris Archivist at the Carnegie Museum of Art

լ How would you answer Dominique’s opening question? լ Do you agree with Dominique’s definition of history? լ Why or why not?

լ What is a reflective and inclusive history? լ What is the big take-away, or main message, of this TEDx talk?

“History is not just everything now backwards, right? That is something that we call the past, and history is also not just a catalog of events put into the right order. History is, in fact, a series of strategically curated decisions, right? Decisions that have the ability to either uplift some or silence others. And those choices, those decisions are made by people like myself, people like archivists, librarians, scholars, researchers. But regardless, they are still decisions and herein lies the impact, the power of bias and privilege. With the ability to create entire silenced land- scapes of people groups entirely based on the decision of either being included or excluded from history making. So what ends up happening is that we implicitly trust the evidence that we find in an archive, right? We see letters or photographs in these archives as the closest thing to actually being there.” —Dominique Luster TEDx Talk w/ Dominique Luster, the Charles “Teenie” Harris Archivist at the Carnegie Museum of Art

“A reflective and inclusive history is one that shares and examines the full picture, and is critical of accounts that only share one side of the story.” —Chloe


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