RBMS 2020
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RBMS thanks Jonathan A Hill, Bookseller for sponsoring this Sched.
Friday, June 26 • 8:30am - 10:00am
Critical Race Pedagogy in the Primary Source Classroom

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How can critical race theory and practice inform teaching with primary sources? How can this framework help special collections instructors create inclusive learning environments? How can it form the foundation for the planning process and selection of materials when preparing to teach a class? How can it help instructors sensitively teach with materials that reflect histories of violence, hate, and oppression? Attendees at this seminar will learn the basic tenets of critical race theory and how to apply these tenants to library and archival instruction with primary sources.

Critical race theory is an interpretive turn which examines race and racism across cultural modes of expression. Scholars using critical race theory recognize racism as a component of daily life throughout American history and revealed in a wide variety of sources; they attempt to understand how victims of systemic racism are affected by cultural perceptions of race. As noted by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic in Critical Race Theory: The Cutting Edge, “Our social world, with its rules, practices, and assignments of prestige and power, is not fixed; rather, we construct with it words, stories and silence.” Many of these stories are held in special collections; thus, it is imperative that members of the special collections community consider how critical race theory can change our work.

Presenters will reflect on their own methods and strategies for incorporating critical race pedagogy in their teaching practice. Topics will include critical race theory, radical empathy, inclusive teaching practices, culturally sustaining pedagogy, teaching with and through archival silences, and how these can all be incorporated into primary source literacy. In keeping with seminars’ commitments to educational outcomes, all attendees will leave the session with a theoretical background as well as ideas about critical race pedagogy and teaching with difficult materials which they can incorporate into their own practice. In accordance with the core values of RBMS 2020, this seminar also strives to provide attendees with tools they can use to decenter power and privilege in their classrooms. We encourage participants to bring their concerns, perspectives, and mistakes to the seminar discussion.

This seminar is co-sponsored by the RBMS Instruction and Outreach Committee and the RBMS Diversity Committee.


Grace Adeneye

Assistant Librarian for Student Success and Engagement, University of Delaware


Analú María López

Ayer Indigenous Studies Librarian, Newberry Library

Gregory Samantha Rosenthal

Assistant Professor of Public History, Roanoke College

Kellee E. Warren

Assistant Professor and Special Collections Librarian, Public Services and Rare Books, University of Illinois at Chicago

Sarah Carrier

North Carolina Research & Instructional Librarian, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Friday June 26, 2020 8:30am - 10:00am
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