DMD/HRTS: Human Rights Archives I: Documenting & Curating Community Memory

[UConn Storrs]

HRTS 3540-002 (Topics in Human Rights Practice)
HRTS 5351-001 (Topics in Human Rights Practice)
DMD 3998-007 (Variable Topics)
DMD 5998-010 (Variable Topics)

Instructor: Catherine Masud

While the undergraduate courses (HRTS 3540, DMD 3998) are not Honors courses, Prof. Masud welcomes Honors students of all majors and would be happy to offer Honors conversions for interested students. Seniors may also choose to register for the graduate courses (HRTS 5351, DMD 5998), which act as Honors credit so long as you earn a grade of B- or higher.

This is the first part of a two-semester practice-based unit. Designed to introduce students to the use of human rights archival materials in documentary storytelling, Human Rights Archives Part I will focus on methods and best practices of collecting and managing digital visual and audio-visual archival assets. Students will engage with existing human rights-related archival collections, both private and institutional, to develop an appreciation of the “living” archive and its importance both as a repository of witnessing and memory and as a vehicle for the continuous retelling of history in the present moment. A series of relevant readings, films, and short storytelling exercises will help to provide context and connections. Later in the semester, students will apply what they’ve learned about human rights archives, digital asset management, and storytelling by documenting and digitizing the family stories and artifacts of an immigrant community that bears the multi-generational scars of genocide and displacement, following some of the strategies of the History Harvest model. The assets collected through this collaborative community-centered project will form the basis of an important new collection that students will be involved in processing, organizing, and cataloguing. This collection will be a primary resource for the visual storytelling work in the second course of the unit. Part I, however, is not considered a prerequisite for Part II.

University Honors Laureate: This Variable Topics course will count toward the Arts & Humanities category.