Digital/Pedagogy/Material/Archives

As the digital era influences the academic realm more and more profoundly, the possibilities and pursuant complexities of new technologies in the classroom create a compelling yet equally vexing environment. Perhaps one of the most challenging questions concerns what to do with the array of digital projects and materials being produced by students and faculty. Whereas in the past paper—both as a medium and as a format for research output—defined the processes of storage and archiving of this scholarly work, the wide variety of output formats generated by the tools and platforms of the digital age create a much more heterogeneous and difficult-to-manage collection of works. This condition is particularly true with regard to the study of material culture, as objects in the material world tend to suffer from a loss of resolution and fidelity when converted to the digital medium, exacerbating the questions of conservation and preservation that are critical to archival practice.

With the aim of better preparing the Bard Graduate Center for the development of its own archive of student and faculty work, this conference was held on April 5 to examine how digital pedagogues currently consider questions of preservation and archiving, and to reimagine what resources, practices, and structures would be deemed necessary to develop an ideal archive of digital pedagogical materials.  Presenters included Kimon Keramidas (Bard Graduate Center); Shannon Mattern (School of Media Studies, The New School); Micki McGee (Sociology, Fordham University); Trevor Owens (National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, Library of Congress); Ethan Watrall (Anthropology and MATRIX Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online, Michigan State University); and Catherine Whalen (Bard Graduate Center)


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