To document the work and methods of the Collaborative Research Seminar, the Center for the Humanities sponsors blog posts written by participants. These posts reflect on teaching materials from the second session of the Seminar, hosted in rare book and manuscript reading rooms at The New York Public Library, and explore the ways in which the Seminar informs academic and creative work at The Graduate Center, CUNY.

August 21, 2017. Author, Iris Cushing: “A Labor of Freedom: Reading The Floating Bear at the Berg Collection.”

September 18, 2017. Author, Cory Tamler. “Annotating and Becoming: Valerie Solanas on Valerie Solanas.”

This spring, the pilot program of the Collaborative Research Seminar on Archives and Special Collections welcomed a cohort of twelve students to participate in two sessions—one at the Graduate Center Library, and the other in the Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room of the New York Public Library. We collectively discussed methods for engaging primary source materials in our research at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and encountered a variety of archival and rare materials—Timothy Leary’s papers, commonplace books, Patti Smith’s notebooks, books in parts, and many more. As a group, we grappled with a wide variety of questions, from citation management to experiencing enchantment, and what it means to encounter primary source materials as embodied readers in space and time. A few of our participants volunteered to share their reflections on this process in the form of blog entries, which we are excited to share in the months ahead as documentation of the work we accomplished together and as examples of the possibilities primary research affords.

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