Imagining onwards, the writers and contributors to this project hope that you will use these pieces and provocations to expand your understanding of the future of higher education and GLAMs as well as the possibilities of writing and producing ideas within a collaborative, team-based environment. Offered as not only speculations about the future, but as examples of what is to come, this curation sets the stage for any project, collaboration, or plan that seeks to create a more ethical and speculative approach to understanding and making change within libraries, higher education, and other cultural heritage and memory institutions.
By creating a “single project with a decolonizing aspect” that is composed of a “body of decolonizing works,” the curated futures project offers both visual and physical representations of a scyborg assemblage (la paperson 2017). Taking these pieces and parts one by one, you can mix and match the contributions and suggestions offered by the authors to create your own machine—your own strategic plans for transformation and change within a library, department, institution, or any space that requires both deconstructive and reconstructive efforts. Then, once you do, you can release these machines into the institutions or structures that require re-imagining in your own area or location. Like blowing the dust off of old archival folders and footage, your new assemblage in thought or action has the power to clear out the ghosts of the past and breathe life into, and create potential for, the future and its many curations. As your machine learns the system, it will continue to learn how to reprogram itself in ways that are in alignment with paradigms and principles that make it run better for future generations based on the ever-present memories of the past.
With these possibilities in mind, we would like to thank The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) for funding this project and creating the system of support and structure for its initiation and production. Special thanks to Kathlin Smith, Evan Matthews, and the many others in the CLIR community who have contributed.
Finally, many thanks and deep appreciation for each of the project contributors, who have not only worked to produce their components of this project, but have also generously provided thought-provoking ideas and questions throughout the development process, making the resulting collection useful for multiple fields, institutions, students, and practitioners.
Faithe Day is a researcher, writer, and digital creative forever focused on the future and fascinated with the internet. Holding a PhD in communication studies from the University of Michigan and a BA in English and digital humanities, Dr. Day develops curriculum, data collection, and curation projects in collaboration with other scholars to identify critical frameworks and best practices to ensure an ethical and justice-centered approach to working with information and data. As a former CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for African American Studies, Dr. Day’s work focuses on the study of Black and LGBTQIA+ data and discourse. This concentration has led to the creation of the “Black Living Data Booklet” a manual and a manifesto on the ethical engagement of data on and for Black communities, as well as projects which bring greater awareness to issues of data privacy, ethics, and ownership in developing technology, as well as personal and community based archives.
Synatra Smith is an Afrofuturist cultural preservationist focused on demonstrating the creation, perpetuation, and transformation of Black cultural landscapes with special attention to the ways in which virtual and physical space are used as environments to transform access to archives and special collections, both conceptually and in practice, as well as the material culture that contributes to this phenomenon by developing immersive experiences using such technologies as virtual reality and augmented reality. She is currently the CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for African American Studies at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Library and Archives and Temple University Libraries Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio where she is researching Black artists in the collections of these institutions and other Philadelphia-area collections to generate data visualizations and 3D interactives.
Jodi Reeves Eyre loves collaborative projects, regenerative solutions, and interactive museum exhibits. She is the program officer for the postdoctoral fellowship program at CLIR where she spends her time managing regranting projects and a fellowship program; facilitating exciting events and opportunities for participants; and, generally, herding rocket cats. She received her PhD in archaeology from the University of Exeter and was a CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for Sciences and Social Sciences at Arizona State University. She currently resides in Seattle, Washington with her spouse, child, and house rabbit. Seattle is on the unceded ancestral lands of the Duwamish people.
John Maclachlan is a geologist who enjoys caving, teaching, poutine, and the Niagara Escarpment. He is an industry professor in the McMaster University School of Earth, Environment and Society and has taught courses at universities across southern Ontario. His research interests range from assessing the potential impact of glacial outburst floods in Peru through improving the reach of education with the McMaster Children and Youth University. A highly engaged instructor, John looks for any and all opportunities to take his students into the field to explore their local communities. John has worn many hats since completing his PhD in geology, starting his career serving as a CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow for the McMaster University Library’s Maps, Data, GIS Centre.
Christa Williford is senior director of research and assessment at CLIR. She is responsible for designing and implementing documentation, evaluation, and development strategies for CLIR’s programs, and for helping others shape and advance new initiatives related to the work of information organizations. A theater historian trained at Indiana University, she completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Warwick and Bryn Mawr College and worked as user services librarian at Haverford College prior to joining CLIR.
Jennifer Grayburn has worked in digital scholarship centers at the University of Virginia and Temple University libraries. Her research focuses on the use of digital resources to support teaching and research. EdSurge, CBC/Radio Canada, and the Carnegie Museum of Art have featured her work on photogrammetry and 3D printing for higher education and cultural heritage institutions. She has supported programs and course assignments using 360-degree video, 3D printing, GIS, text analysis, and virtual reality in a variety of disciplines. She has also contributed to two CLIR reports on the role of academic libraries to support critical making and digital research workflows. Jennifer continues her own research on medieval Scandinavian art and literature and recently presented her 3D GIS project at the Getty-funded Advanced Topics in Digital Art History summer institute.
Carrie Johnston is the digital humanities research designer in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University, where she partners with faculty to develop innovative methods of curating and publishing research data. She holds a PhD in English literature from Southern Methodist University. Her work has appeared in College Literature, American Quarterly, Amerikastudien / American Studies, Studies in the Novel, and various edited collections. Prior to her current appointment at Wake Forest, she was a CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Scholarship at Bucknell University.
Annie Johnson is the assistant director for Open Publishing Initiatives and Scholarly Communications at Temple University Libraries and Press. In this position, she leads initiatives within the Libraries and Press to help make Temple research and scholarship publicly available. Annie holds a PhD in history from the University of Southern California.
Petrouchka Moïse received her Doctorate of Design in Cultural Preservation from the Louisiana State University College of Art and Design. As a Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for Haitian Visual Arts, she works jointly with Grinnell College Libraries staff and the Waterloo Cultural Center. Dr. Moïse plays a central role in coordinating the work of the Haitian Art: A Digital Crossroads project (HADC). The HADC aims to make the Haitian art collection of the Waterloo Center for the Arts the largest publicly held collection of Haitian art in the world, digitally accessible as a preparatory study for the creation of a digital hub for a network of online resources in Haitian and Caribbean studies. In addition to managing this project, she collaborates with cultural and academic institutes within Haiti and the Diaspora to build awareness of this collection.
Aditya Ranganath is a data librarian at the Center for Research Data and Digital Scholarship (CRDDS) at the University of Colorado, Boulder Libraries. Prior to his appointment at CU Boulder, he was a CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in geospatial data curation at New York University Libraries. He holds a PhD in political science from the University of California, San Diego.
Ece Turnator was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. She came to the US for graduate school and received her PhD in medieval (Byzantine) history from Harvard University in 2013. Between 2013 and 2016, she was a CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin Libraries and the English Department. Since 2016 she has worked as the humanities and digital scholarship librarian at MIT Libraries. In this podcast series, she explores the many ways that Indigenous archivists, librarians, scholars/scientists, and their allies are building powerful new archival content with the goal of helping to forge new futures for their respective communities.
Laura Wilson received her PhD in English literature from the University of Mississippi. As Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for African American Studies, she is jointly employed by the John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library, and the Department of History and Political Science. She assists in the planning and development of a new database for the Julius Rosenwald Fund Collections; using material from this collection she teaches an undergraduate history course combining African American studies with data science. As a researcher, Laura uses the Rosenwald archive to continue to pursue interests in African American modernity and material culture—her research examines intersections of race and the environment in the early 20th century.
Justin Schell is the director of the Shapiro Design Lab, a peer and engaged learning community at the University of Michigan Library. His work in the Lab revolves around facilitating student learning and project development in areas such as publicly engaged scholarship, community and citizen science, accessibility and disability justice, media production, and more. He holds a PhD from the University of Minnesota’s Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society program, where he completed a multimodal dissertation on immigrant and disaporic hip-hop in Minnesota. He was a CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Minnesota Libraries. While there, he founded the Minnesota Hip-Hop Collection, part of the Libraries’ Givens Collection. In addition to his library work, Justin is a filmmaker, visual artist, and podcast producer.
Rachel Starry is currently the digital scholarship librarian at the University of California, Riverside Library, where she serves as the Digital Scholarship Program lead and supports digital research, pedagogy, and publishing activities. Previously, after receiving her PhD in classical and Near Eastern archaeology from Bryn Mawr College, she was the CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in Social Science Data Curation at the University at Buffalo Libraries. Prior to UB, Rachel worked with both the digital scholarship program and the Special Collections Department in Library and Information Technology (LITS) at Bryn Mawr College.
Marta Brunner is college librarian at Skidmore College. Prior to joining Skidmore in 2015, Marta held leadership positions in the Powell Library and Charles E. Young Research Library at the University of California, Los Angeles. She came to UCLA as a CLIR postdoctoral fellow. She holds a PhD in the history of consciousness from the University of California, Santa Cruz, a master’s in English (rhetoric, composition, and the teaching of English) from the University of Arizona, and a BA in English from Goshen College. Her areas of teaching and research have covered social movement history and literature of the United States, scholarly communication, librarianship, and English as a Second Language.
Sean Tennant is the archaeology data manager for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Previously, he was the CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in the library at Union College. Sean has a PhD and MA in Ancient Mediterranean Art and Archaeology from the University of Virginia and a BA in history from George Mason University. His research focuses on large-scale data analysis in archaeology, GIS-based spatial analysis, and network-based approaches to data science.
Matthew Sisk is a geospatial data scientist based in Notre Dame’s Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship. He received his BS from the University of South Carolina in marine science and anthropology and his MA and PhD in paleolithic archaeology from Stony Brook University in 2011 and has worked extensively in GIS-based archaeology and ecological modeling. His research focuses on human- environment interactions, the spatial scale environmental toxins and community-based research.
Rebecca Y. Bayeck is an assistant professor in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences at Utah State University and holds a dual-PhD in Learning Design and Technology and Comparative and International Education from the Pennsylvania State University. Her interdisciplinary research is at the interface of several fields including, the learning sciences, literacy studies, and game studies. At this intersection, she explores literacies and learning in games, particularly board games, the interaction of culture, space, and context on design, learning, research, literacies.
Smiti Nathan is an anthropologist and archaeologist working at the intersection of various design fields. Her archaeological research focuses on human decision-making strategies in ancient Oman and Ethiopia. She is currently a senior UX researcher at a private company where she designs and conducts user research as part of multidisciplinary teams working on complex projects. In addition, she consults for organizations interested in small-group workshops on life design.
Alex Wermer-Colan is the digital scholarship coordinator at Temple University Libraries’ Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio, where he directs research and pedagogical projects integrating emerging technologies across the disciplines. His research and teaching focus on rethinking approaches to digital collections for scholarly and pedagogical purposes, especially in relation to the collections as data movement, the digital humanities field of cultural analytics, recent trends in digital media arts, and emerging technologies for web curation, game-based learning, and immersive visualization.
Special thanks to the many reviewers, interviewees, and consultants who contributed their time and efforts to ensure that each contribution to this project not only met the standards and expectations of scholarly work within the context of the project theme, but also within the fields and disciplines to which these projects respond to, and are in conversation with:
Alex Gil Fuentes
Finally, we thank you the readers and respondents to this collection of collaborative future making. May you continue to spread the good word of these works to your friends, followers, and networks of influence. And may you also use this project as inspiration for your own creative works and collaborations.