Tabb Center Director Joseph Plaster and panelists Jules Gill-Peterson and Chase Joynt at the Baltimore Art Museum, Feb 23 2023

Spring 2023

What does it mean to consider archival practice – a commitment to historical documentation and preservation – as an element of political radicalism? How can artists follow the peculiarities of the archive to activate new histories, coalitions, and forms of cultural memory? Our spring series—an array of film screenings, panels, talks, and performances—investigated the politics of historical memory and the mobilization of archival collections.

Free and open to the public

Feb 23 6:30pm
Screening of Framing Agnes (2022) followed by discussion with historian Jules Gill-Peterson and filmmaker Chase Joynt

After discovering case files from a 1950s gender clinic, a cast of trans actors turn a talk show inside out to confront the legacy of a young trans woman forced to choose between honesty and access.

View the Framing Agnes trailer.

Baltimore Museum of Art Auditorium
10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218

Mar 9 6:30pm
Screening of Into the Light: A Trip Through Baltimore Ballroom (2021) and FIRE!! (2022) followed by panel with filmmakers and Baltimore ballroom leaders

Into The Light (directed by Jason Gray and Kathryn Martin) follows ballroom performers as they prepare to compete at the inaugural Peabody ball in 2019. FIRE!! (produced by Ballroom Throwbacks) showcases performers at the 2022 Peabody ball. Both films highlight the work of the Peabody Ballroom Experience, a collaborative effort to interpret Sheridan Libraries archives through runway and performance.

The George Peabody Library
17 E Mt Vernon Pl, Baltimore, MD 21202

Mar 28 noon
SHAN Wallace, “I am called to mirror back”

SHAN Wallace spoke about her growing archival practice as an artist-in-residence at the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Wallace is a nomadic award-winning visual artist, photographer, and educator from East Baltimore, MD. Much of Wallace’s work is focused on “the archive”–its development, the challenges of the modern archive, the “archive as artwork” and methods for ethically accumulating primary source documents. Learn more about Wallace via her website.

Macksey Seminar Room, Brody Learning Commons M-Level
3400 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21218

Panel discussion with ballroom leaders after a screening of Into the Light: A Trip Through Baltimore Ballroom (2021) and FIRE!! (2022)

Apr 3 4:30pm
Sandra Eder, “On the margins of the record: making sense of gender in the clinic”

Sandra Eder spoke about her recent book, How the Clinic Made Gender: The Medical History of a Transformative Idea (UChicago Press, 2022), and questions of method and sources for working in clinical and medical archives. How the Clinic Made Gender is a pivotal account of the relationship between American medical practice and popular conceptions of identity in the mid-20th century, and places particular focus on Johns Hopkins’ researchers attempts to standardize and enforce gender norms in work with intersex and trans individuals.

Macksey Seminar Room, Brody Learning Commons M-Level
3400 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21218

Apr 19 noon
Jeanne Vaccaro, “I wanted the world to see us: on what a photograph does”

What tactile historical openings might a curatorial method of archiving yield? Thinking across trans visual culture and oral history, Jeanne Vaccaro presented work from her social and public practice. Vaccaro is a scholar and curator of contemporary art and public practice whose research and teaching endeavor to recalibrate art history’s norms and canons. Her book in process, Handmade: feelings and textures of transgender, considers the felt labor of making identity.

Macksey Seminar Room, Brody Learning Commons M-Level
3400 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21218

The Engaged Humanities Speaker Series: Fall 2019

A strong “public turn” within universities has been rekindling interest in community-based learning, cross-disciplinary alliances, and participatory approaches to research-creation. Academic institutions increasingly approach their neighbors as partners in research and not simply objects of study. The “Engaged Humanities” speaker series highlighted this shift in academic research from knowing about to knowing with, focusing on initiatives through which communities and universities work collaboratively to frame research questions, project design, and interpretation, with the goal of generating social change. More information about the series here.

Dr. Lawrence Brown, Morgan State University, delivers “Engaging Communities as an Embedded Researcher"
Poster for the 2019 Engaged Humanities Speaker Series

Past Lectures

Andrea Jenkins and Dr. Myrl Beam, “Building Power Through Documenting Trans Oral Histories,” December 3, 2022, Bird in Hand Café.

Dr. Jeffrey Brooks, “Resilience and Russian Culture: The Censors Just Couldn’t Win,” April 20, 2022.

Dr. Lawrence Brown, Morgan State University, School of Community Health and Policy, “Engaging Communities as an Embedded Researcher,” Sept 17, 2019.

Dr. Brett Stoudt, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, “Researching at the Community-University Borderlands: Using Public Science to Study Policing in the South Bronx,” Oct 11, 2019.

Dr. Stéphane Martelly, “What Does Sharing Authority Mean? Reinventing Memories and Traces Through Oral History,” Oct 23, 2019.

Dr. Nicole King, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, on the Orser Center for the Study of Place, Community, and Culture, “Baltimore Traces: Communities in Transition,” Nov 20, 2019.

Rebecca Brown, “The Intimate Archive: Aerograms and Almirahs,” Tuesday, April 23, 2019, Macksey Room, Brody Learning Commons M-level

Nadia Nurhussein, Samanda Robinson, and Jarvis Young, “The Movements of Black Print Culture in the United States, 1773-1940,” Tuesday, February 12, 2019, Macksey Room, Brody Learning Commons M-level

Martha Jones, “Birthright Citizenship and the Politics of Early Black Baltimore” Thursday, February 7 2019, Macksey Room, Brody Learning Commons M-level

Jo Briggs, “Downfall of the Exhibition: Ephemera and Opposition at the Crystal Palace,” March 7, 2018, Macksey Room, Brody Learning Commons M-level

Dorothy Kim, “Embodying the Database: Race, Gender, and Social Justice,” February 22, 2018, Brody Learning Commons 4040

Deborah Willis, “Locating the Self-Portrait in Postcard and Photobooth Imagery,” February 7, 2018, Macksey Room, Brody Learning Commons M-level

Shane Butler, “Dante’s Mask: Queer Surfaces in the Books of John Addington Symonds,” March 7, 2017, Macksey Room, Brody Learning Commons M-level

Adam Smyth (Balliol College, Oxford), Title: “‘Tatters Allegorical’: Reading and Not Reading Printed Waste in Early Modern Books” Tuesday, September 19, 2015, Macksey Room, Brody Learning Commons M-level

Elizabeth Archibald, “Ask the Past: Learning from the George Peabody Library,” Wednesday, October 7, 2015, Homewood Campus, Brody Learning Commons Macksey Room, Brody Learning Commons M-level

Nicholas Smith, “An Actor’s Library: David Garrick, Book Collecting and Literary Friendships,” Monday, October 26, 2015, Macksey Room, Brody Learning Commons M-level

Nathan Connolly, “More than Pictures: Incorporating Visual Sources into Historical Narratives,” February 19, 2013, BLC 5015/5017