Metadata Development and Decisions in Post Custodial Collaborations – panelist
Society of American Archivists (SAA) | August 5, 2019

For more than a decade, LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections has supported post-custodial partnerships with community and cultural heritage organizations to protect vulnerable historical records in Latin America. This panel highlighted diverse experiences and roles of post-custodial archivists, traditional archivists, and scholars in collaboratively developing and implementing post-custodial projects. Panelists each offered insights and lessons learned from their engagement with each other and these projects to underscore the collaborative value of the model with my presentation focused on Metadata Development and Decisions.


Metadata From the Source: Participatory Metadata Models in Post-Custodial Projects in Latin America – Panelist
Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM) | June 28, 2019

As the call from the United Nations for Human Rights-based approaches to data gains momentum across the world, the LLILAS Benson Digital Initiatives team at the University of Texas at Austin begins by asking “how can post-custodial models facilitate efforts at self determination?” In particular how can participatory metadata creation approaches used by LLILAS Benson in various post-custodial partnerships across Latin America improve archival description praxis. Speaker will deliberate on previous and current implementations of ethics driven participatory metadata creation practices used for post-custodial digitization projects in a cultural heritage institution. Insights aim to further establish collaborative information processes that will in turn bring about richer, culturally sensitive and human rights centered metadata for digital cultural heritage collections.


community, communities & archives: a Discussion on Community Archives – Guest Speaker
Archival Enterprise II course | February 2019

A classroom discussion with the students of the Archival Enterprise II course at the University of Texas Austin School of Information regarding the conceptualization of Community Archives in the field of archival studies.


Community & archives?: a Discussion on Community Archives – Guest Speaker
Critical Digital Archives course | November 2018

A classroom discussion with the students of the Critical Digital Archives course at the University of Texas Austin regarding the conceptualization of Community Archives.


Creating Knowledges: A Discussion on the Significance of Gloria Anzaldúa and Archival Collections – Moderator

El Mundo Zurdo, San Antonio, TX | May 2018

For many of the discussions, scholars focusing on Anzaldua’s life and work, the use of her historical materials provides a crucial foundation for these endeavors. Without Anzaldua’s archival collections, not only would research around about her work be stalled or impossible, but also so would efforts to expose reveal her writing, teachings and legacy to others. This can be said of many other archival collections of underrepresented, excluded, or erased individuals and communities. This roundtable seeks to address the following topics related to the central theme of representation in history and paving the way for others to occupy a place in the historical narrative.

Panelists included: Itza Carbajal, Antonia Castaneda, Laura Rendon, and Liliana Wilson


Post-Custodial Praxis at LLILAS Benson: Lessons in Digitization, Access, and Community Partnerships – Panelist
Texas Conference on Digital Libraries, Austin, TX | May 2018

LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies & Collections works in partnership with archival organizations and community partners in Latin America to digitally preserve underrepresented histories and human rights documentation. By adopting a post-custodial archival model, we can support goals of digital preservation and access without physically removing collection materials from communities that use and identify with them. This panel will bring together archivists, partners, students, and scholars to share best practices, workflows, and lessons learned from a diverse array of post-custodial projects.

Panelists included: David Bliss, Itza Carbajal, Jane Field, Eddie Shore, Matthew Butler


Warning! Materials May be Unsettling: Sensitive AV Materials in Archives – Moderator
Association of Moving Image Archivist Conference, New Orleans, LA November 2017

Audiovisual archives at times capture real life traumatic events that may be triggering or distasteful. Other materials may be disturbing by design. Management of these types of collections can oftentimes face reduced desire for preservation, a lack of users, or limited funding opportunities. As a result vulnerable collections may risk deterioration and loss.


Crossing Borders: Why Archival Science Students Benefit from Interdepartmental and Transdisciplinary Coursework – Co-Presenter

Archival Education and Research Institute, Toronto, Canada, July 2017

This session used reflections to provide a window to a deeper cognizance of how archival pedagogy can benefit from incorporating observational components — especially in environments that encapsulate a diversity of possible users. Presenters built on the experience of being enrolled as graduate students in an upper division undergraduate course titled “Queer Archives” taught by Professor Ann Cvetkovich at the University of Texas at Austin. Through a multidisciplinary and multi generational class environment, students conducted archival research using Queer theory to guide the coursework objectives. The teachings within this sort of environment speak to issues beyond the scope of the course including the ways graduate students receive exposure to other disciplines and other professional trainings, as well as to the different perceptions of archives, archival materials, and the archival profession from non archivists.

Co-presenters included: Itza Carbajal and Emma Whittington


Digital Keepers: Ethics of Saving Online Data About Latin American Social Movements – Presenter

Among its many faces, challenges and particular contexts, Latin America is a rich universe of different cultures, knowledges and rhythms. But it is possible to find in its extensive ground a singularity that makes it continuous: resistance. The strength of its people marching for rights, social justice and occupying positions of power is the light that never goes out and that guides the direction of opposition to oppressive policies. Many social movements and projects of resistance have emerged in the continent demanding social change, and democracy. Some current examples of voices for change include, among others, Brazil with “Fora Temer”, Guatemala and “JusticiaYa”, and Colombia and its peace process. The ILASSA 37 student conference will explore the various forms of resistance that make Latin American and Latinx communities breathe together.


Towards an Archive of our Own: Exploring the Early Stages of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Digital Community Archive – Presenter
The Studio for Media Activism & Critical Thought at Ryerson University, Canada, Nov 2016

Activist Media Archives: De/Materializing Bodies Symposium

Community owned archives over the past few decades began to emerge in the United States with repositories such as the Freedom Archives and the Lesbian Herstory Archive making waves in the archival world. In San Antonio, Texas the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, a feminist, Lesbian and Queer women of color-led organization, yearns to create a grassroots archival repository, but where to begin? Using the example of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center Digital community archive project, other groups may be better able to decide if community archives may be a option for them as well.


Baby Steps: How Digitization Projects Help Community Archives Measure Resource Needs – Researcher
Association of Moving Image Archivists, Nov 2016

Annual Conference Poster Session

This research looks at how digitization projects can help aspiring community archives gauge the necessary resources to maintain archival repositories that include access to both paper based and digital records as well as sound preservation practices. Currently, little research exists in regards to the various necessary steps community groups must consider when establishing their own independent archives. By using the case study of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center’s recent audiovisual digitization project, the researcher hopes to pinpoint key elements that community archives should contemplate when deciding whether to continue the work needed to maintain an archival repository.


NOLA (Up)rooted – Co-Presenter
Rising Tide: A Conference on the Future of New Orleans, August 2013

The Rising Tide Conference is an annual gathering for all who wish to learn more and do more to assist New Orleans’ recovery. Leveraging the power of bloggers and new media, the conference is a launch pad for organization and action. Our day-long program of speakers and presentations is tailored to inform, entertain, enrage and inspire.


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