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A jar of soil from the site of each lynching in Alabama, at the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. Photo courtesy of Brian Palmer/


In association with the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Lecture featuring civil rights lawyer and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson, the Institute for the Humanities and the University of Michigan School of Information will host an open seminar on the relationships between the new conceptions of the archive and the advancement of social justice causes in the United States.

Amidst the rejection of facts and historical perspective, progress in addressing structural and overt racism, police brutality, and inequitable incarceration requires a critical interrogation of what an archive is, where it lives or dies, and how it should persist and be used. The day-long seminar will bring together a group of junior scholars from around the country whose work is deeply informed by the witnessing power of the archive – from body cam data to hidden historical records – to illuminate and address contemporary social justice challenges.


Jarett M. Drake
Digital Archivist, Princeton University

“Abolitionist Archives: Projecting Past the Punishment Paradigm”

Jarrett M. Drake is the Digital Archivist at Princeton University and one of the organizers of A People’s Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland. He also is a member of the 2016 cohort of the Mandela Dialogues on Memory Work, a program organized by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Global Leadership Academy that convenes an international dialogue series for thought leaders and change agents in the field of memory work. Outside of archives, Jarrett volunteers as an instructor in the New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons (NJ-STEP) Consortium through the Princeton Prison Teaching Initiative, teaching preparatory and introductory college composition. Jarrett earned a B.A. in history from Yale College and an M.S.I. from the University of Michigan School of Information. His prior work experience includes the University of Michigan Special Collections Library, the Bentley Historical Library, and the Maryland State Archives.

Doria Dee Johnson
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Ex-Slave Communities, History, Violence and Memory: Are We Ready to Reckon with Justice?”

Doria Johnson is a PhD candidate in U.S. history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Johnson’s scholarly work has been closely linked to her familial history. Her great-great grandfather, Anthony Crawford, was lynched in Abbeville, South Carolina in 1916.  Seeking justice Johnson successfully pressed the U.S Senate to apologize for their slowness to enact federal legislation against lynching.  Resolution 39 was passed in June 2005. Her research interests include Womanist Theory, Visual Culture and Critical Race Studies, the Great Migration, African American Suburbanization, Oral History and Memory, and the cultural legacy of lynching. She was named to the 2016 Nelson Mandela International Dialogues and Yale University Public History Institute, Doria has lectured globally on the impact and legacies of violence against African Americans, U.S. history and feminist/womanist theory, and curated public history exhibits.

Bergis Jules
Ph.D. Student, Public History, University of California Riverside

“Towards A People's Archive of the Internet: DocNow as a Model for Decolonizing Web Archives”

Bergis is the University and Political Papers Archivist at the University of California Riverside, where he is also a pursuing a PhD student in Public History. He is currently the Community Lead for the Mellon Foundation funded project titled, “Documenting the Now: Supporting Scholarly Use and Preservation of Social Media Content.” Bergis received an M.A. in African American and African Diaspora Studies and an M.L.S. with a Specialization in Archives and Records Management from Indiana University, Bloomington. 

Safiya Umoja Noble
Assistant Professor, Information Studies, UCLA

"Circulating Black Lives and Black Bodies: A Lesson in Critical Surveillance Literacy"

Safiya Umoja Noble is an assistant professor in the Department of Information Studies in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. She holds appointments in the Departments of African American Studies, Gender Studies, and Education. Her research on the design and use of applications on the Internet is at the intersection of race, gender, culture, and technology. Her forthcoming monograph interrogates the social implications of racist and sexist algorithmic bias (2017, NYU Press). She currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, and is the co-editor of two books, The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online (Peter Lang, Digital Formations, 2016), and Emotions, Technology & Design (Elsevier, 2015). Safiya holds a PhD and MSin Library & Information Science from the I-School at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a BA in Sociology from California State University, Fresno with an emphasis on African American/Ethnic Studies.

Tonia Sutherland
Assistant Professor, Communication and Information Sciences, University of Alabama.

“Technological Embodiment, Virtual Immortality, Digital Resurrection, and Critical Resistance”

Tonia Sutherland is assistant professor in the College of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama. Global in scope, Suther­land’s research focuses on entanglements of technology and culture, with particular emphases in the areas of digital culture; data and society; critical studies of information and new media; technology and the arts; Science and Technology Studies; archival theory and practice; and community and cultural informatics. Recently, Sutherland’s work has focused on the relationships between 20th century lynching records and 21st century digital cultures of racialized violence. Sutherland also researches the social facets of large-scale digital projects. Specifically, this work interrogates data science practices, engaging critical data studies and concerns about inclusivity and representation within expert cultures of work and collaboration. Sutherland holds a PhD and an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information.

Stacy Wood
Doctoral Student, Information Studies, UCLA

"Public Records, Private Infrastructure: Police Body Camera Footage as Evidence"

Stacy Wood is currently a doctoral candidate in Information Studies at UCLA. She is a critical scholar of archives and information policy who studies the ethics of socio-technical systems and the records they generate. She holds an M.L.I.S. from UCLA and a bachelor's from Pitzer College.



Equal Justice Initiative. Lynching in America: Targeting Black Veterans. 2016.

Toobin, Jeffrey, “Justice Delayed,” The New Yorker, August 22, 2016. [Bryan Stevenson]

Drake, Jarrett M., “Insurgent Citizens: The Manufacture of Police Records in Post-Katrina New Orleans and Its Implications for Human Rights,” Archival Science 14, no. 3–4 (July 16, 2014), 365–80.

Dunbar, Anthony, “Introducing Critical Race Theory to Archival Discourse: Getting the Conversation Started.” Archival Science 6 (1) 2006: 109–29.

Jimerson, Randall C., “Archives for All: Professional Responsibility and Social Justice,” American Archivist, 70:2 (2007), 252-281.

Johnson, Doria Dee. Shhh... big momma and dem'left last night: shifting violent memories and the African American chain migration, Abbeville, South Carolina to Evanston, Illinois, 1910-1940. University of Wisconsin--Madison, 2009.

Noble, Safiya Umoja, “Teaching Travon: Race, Media, and the Politics of Spectacle,” The Black Scholar: Journal of Black Studies and Research 44 (1) 2014, pp. 12-29.

Punzalan, Ricardo and Caswell, Michelle, "Critical Directions for Archival Approaches to Social Justice," Library Quarterly 86(1) (2016): 25-42.

Sutherland, Tonia. “‘Making A Killing’: On Race, Ritual, and (Re)Membering in Digital Culture.” Under Review.

Wallace, David, “Locating Agency: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Professional Ethics and Archival Morality.” Journal of Information Ethics 19 (1) 2010: 172–89.

Wood, Stacy E., “Body-worn camera footage and the privatization of public records.” Preservation, Digital Technology and Culture. Forthcoming 2017.

March 8, 2017

North Quad, Ehrlicher Rm #3100
105 S. State St.

free and open to the public


Tuesday, March 7, 2016

7:30 pm Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Lecture
Bryan Stevenson, Equal Justice Initiative

Wednesday, March 8, 2016
Seminar Agenda

9:00 to 10:00
Patricia Garcia, Research Fellow, UMSI (Ph.D. UCLA)
Welcome and framing remarks

10:00 to 12:00
Panel 1 – Confronting the Future Archive

Jarrett Drake
“Abolitionist Archives: Projecting Past the Punishment Paradigm”

Doria D. Johnson
“Ex-Slave Communities, History, Violence and Memory: Are We Ready to Reckon with Justice?”

Safiya Umoja Noble
"Circulating Black Lives and Black Bodies: A Lesson in Critical Surveillance Literacy"

Noon to 1:30 Lunch and discussion

1:30 to 3:30
Panel 2 – Justice InFormation Now

Bergis Jules
“Towards A People's Archive of the Internet: DocNow as a Model for Decolonizing Web Archives”

Tonia Sutherland
“Technological Embodiment, Virtual Immortality, Digital Resurrection, and Critical Resistance”

Stacy Wood
"Public Records, Private Infrastructure: Police Body Camera Footage as Evidence"

4:00 to 5:00
Discussion: Dissonance and Synthesis

5:00 to 6:00