University Archivist, Kent State University
Wednesday 21 November, 09:15 – 10:15
Lae’l Hughes-Watkins is the University Archivist at Kent State, where she administers the largest collection on the Kent State shootings. Her research focuses on outreach to marginalised communities, documenting student activism within disenfranchised populations, and utilising narratives of oppressed voices within the curricula of post-secondary education spaces. Her most recent article is “Moving Toward a Reparative Archive: A Roadmap for a Holistic Approach to Disrupting Homogenous Histories in Academic Repositories and Creating Inclusive Spaces for Marginalized Voices,” in the Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies, which introduces the concept of a reparative archive— a roadmap for how academic repositories can begin to repair their holdings and develop a holistic approach to disrupting homogeneous histories through acquisition, advocacy, and utilisation of collections that centre voices of the oppressed and challenges the history of predominantly white academic institution.
Lae’l is the Founder of Project STAND, a national consortium of nearly forty colleges and universities working to create a digitally centralised location for access to primary resources illuminating the narratives of student activists and organisations from traditionally underrepresented communities. Project STAND was recently awarded a National Leadership grant for $92,000 by the Institute of Museums and Libraries to host symposia throughout the U.S that will provide a platform to share data on the archival resources documenting acts of student dissent centring marginalised student populations and listen to the narratives of past and present student leaders as information professionals strive to ethically document their stories. Lae’l is also the recipient of the Academic Research Libraries Leadership and Career Development Program fellowship and Society of Ohio Archivist Merit Award for her leadership in Project STAND.