Negotiating Community Literacy Practice: Public Memory Work and the Boston Marathon Bombing Digital Archive

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This study examines Our Marathon <.>, which is a digital historiography website created in response to the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15th, 2013. As a participatory archive, Our Marathon is an example of community literacy practice. I explore the construction of community through the public memory work of the archive by examining two collections of archival artifacts: public submissions and the Boston City Archives content. This examination reveals the complexity of community construction, but also the influence of Our Marathon as a material support for the work of public memory. Highlighting the archive's negotiation between an intimate space for community participation in the wake of trauma, and its role as an open, digital archive with global reach, I demonstrate that tensions of this negotiation are useful to highlight the power of the archive as a location of public memory construction, and can suggest ways Our Marathon and other digital historiographic projects can better foster community participation and formation through the reflexive collection, preservation, and display of archival content.

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... Historically, activist communities have frequently adopted digital technologies to construct archives and democratise cultural memory practices, with researchers situating many of these projects within the field of community heritage or cultural memory (Allard and Ferris, 2014;Petro, 2015;Smith, 2016;Palmer-Mehta, 2018;Poell and van Dijck, 2018;Smit, Heinrich and Broersma, 2018;Correa et al., 2019;Chidgey, 2020;Smit, 2020). Archives are created using unconventional sources and methods -these include Twitter hashtags (Jules, Summers and Mitchell, Jr., 2018); Facebook groups and pages (Yaqub, 2016;Smit, Heinrich and Broersma, 2018;Gibbons, 2019); media articles (Palmer-Mehta, 2018); YouTube videos (Kølvraa and Stage, 2016), with some theorists asserting that even the internet itself can be understood as an archive of sorts (Block, 2001). ...
... The use of digital platforms to create archives is also a focus of those researching community-led archives (Caswell and Mallick, 2014;Caswell, Cifor and Ramirez, 2016;Ferris and Allard, 2016;Mutibwa, 2016;Smith, 2016;Saber and Long, 2017;Cowan and Rault, 2018;Moore, 2020;Popple, Prescott and Mutibwa, 2020). In the context of work undertaken by the South Asian American Digital Archive, Caswell and Mallick use the term "digital participatory microhistory project" to describe any programmatic activity that uses Internet based technologies to encourage community members to directly create short records for inclusion in an archives. ...
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This qualitative study examines the production of cultural memory within current or recently active UK-based DIY music spaces. Utilising a critical archival theoretical framework, the thesis builds upon previous work which deconstructs subcultural historiography and archiving, identifying the reproduction of whiteness, masculinity, and affluence in heritage projects. By focusing on current or recently active communities, the study engages with archives and histories before they are deposited and/or formed, acknowledging the role of labour in and the construction of narratives through archival work. My analysis therefore moves discussions about subcultural archives beyond examination of sources and into a discipline which explores archiving as practice and labour, archives as organisations, as well as the archive as concept. The resulting analysis complicates the positioning of punk and DIY music communities as ahistorical. I surface underpinning information infrastructures and informal archival actions which enable community building and connection across generations through preservation and circulation of memory. Exploration of the intersection of socioeconomic circumstances and archival traces identifies how ongoing experiences of austerity, precarity and lack of resource negatively affect the capacity to create and maintain archival projects or sources. The contemporary temporal focus of the study enables an extended consideration of the born digital traces and web heritage of DIY music communities, which is particularly timely given the loss of data stored on widely-used digital platforms such as Myspace Music and the deletion of information produced by queer communities caused by corporate moderation processes and algorithms.
... The need for information is the cause of every organization competing to carry out information management by utilizing technology (Mitic et al., 2017;Altinay et al., 2016;Azma et al., 2012). At the village office, archives are very necessary (Smith, 2016). Village administration includes general administration, population administration, financial administration, development administration, and BPD administration. ...
... Perkembangan dunia kearsipan pada era komputerisasi berkembang dengan sistem penyimpanan komputerisasi atau sering disebut Electronic Arsip (E-Arsip). Arsip meru-pakan bagian yang sangat berharga dari warisan budaya kita karena mereka mewakili jejak aktivitas seseorang fisik atau yuridis dalam perjalanan bisnis mereka (Ferro & Silvello, 2013;Cincinelli et al., 2016;Tang, Misztal, Nazaroff, & Goldstein, 2015;Smith, 2016). ...
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Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengetahui kefektifan media pembelajaran kearsipan digital dalam meningkatkan hasil belajar siswa SMK Negeri 3 Surakarta. Penelitian ini merupakan penelitian dan pengembangan (R & D). Model pengembangan media ini menggunakan model Hannafin dan Peck. Subyek pengujian dilakukan di dua kelas, yaitu kelas X AP 1 (kelas eksperimen) dan X AP 2 (kelas kontrol) di SMK Negeri 3 Surakarta. Uji prasyarat analisis meliputi uji normalitas, uji homogenitas dan menggunakan uji-t. Teknik analisis yang digunakan deskriptif kualitatif dan kuantitatif. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa keefektifan dari media pembelajaran kearsipan digital bahwa thitung> ttabel = (3,26> 2,00), maka H0 ditolak, itu berarti bahwa kedua kelompok memiliki skor prestasi belajar yang berbeda. Hasil posttest antara kelas eksperimen (menggunakan media yang dikembangkan) dengan kelas kontrol (tidak menggunakan media yang dikembangkan) menunjukkan bahwa nilai rata-rata yang diperoleh kelas eksperimen adalah 80,59, nilai rata-rata lebih tinggi dari kelas kontrol 77, 97. Kesimpulan dari penelitian ini adalah pengembangan media pembelajaran kearsipan digital dianggap efektif dalam meningkatkan hasil belajar siswa SMK Negeri 3 Surakarta.Kata kunci: kearsipan, media pembelajaran, microsoft access THE DEVELOPMENT OF LEARNING MEDIA ARCHIVES TO IMPROVE STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES SMK NEGERI 3 SURAKARTAAbstractThis study aims to determine the effectiveness of instructional media digital archives in improving student learning outcomes SMK Negeri 3 Surakarta. This study is a research and development (R & D). Models using the model of media development Hannafin and Peck. Subjects testing was conducted in two classes, X AP 1 (experimental class) and X AP 2 (control group) at SMK Negeri 3 Surakarta. Prerequisite test analysis covering the normality test, homogeneity and using t-test. The analysis technique used descriptive qualitative and quantitative. The results showed that the effectiveness of digital archival media learning that tcount> ttable = (3.26> 2.00), then H0 is rejected, it means that the two groups had different learning achievement scores. Results posttest between the experimental class (using the media developed) with a control class (do not use the media developed) shows that the average value obtained experimental class is 80.59, the average value is higher than the control class 77, 97. Conclusion this research is the development of instructional media digital archives are considered effective in improving student learning outcomes SMK Negeri 3 Surakarta.Keywords: archives, learning media, microsoft access
Conference Paper
Nowadays, interdisciplinary information needs and behaviors has become one of the hot topics in the academic circle, yet the differences between interdisciplinary and single-disciplinary information needs are still not fully explained. Through applying two main methods i.e., Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Fuzzy Comprehensive Evaluation (FCE), analysis on the perceived importance and satisfaction of interdisciplinary information user’s value driving factors about Web of Science (WoS) were conducted in order to find the characteristics of interdisciplinary researcher’s information needs. This paper proposes that, compared with single-disciplinary users, interdisciplinary users pay more attention to emotional value and show lower satisfaction scores of all the criteria. Besides, “quality of information resources” is the most important as well as a satisfying criterion; “quantity of information resources” is the least important criterion; and “related services” is the least satisfying criterion of interdisciplinary users. In conclusion, the findings can be used as a basis for the deeper investigation of interdisciplinary information user’s value hierarchy.
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: Scholars have observed that rhetorical identification is a common strategy used by both physical and virtual museums to engage the public in their narratives of civic history. This essay explores what happens when service-learning students enter this context to build digital projects as agents and as objects of identification. Drawing from my ten-year partnership with the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, I illustrate how identification can arise within a museum-based digital project, how it can enrich and complicate the project, and how my students and I attempt to balance our insider/outsider roles as authors and interpreters of community history.
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In this study, I examine four web memorials to explore the material construction of memory on the internet. Using Blair's arguments about the rhetorical materiality of memorials, I seek to understand the vernacular responses to 9/11 in the form of individually crafted web memorials. I argue that vernacular web memorials contain dual rhetorical functions of being memorials themselves as well as the tributary markers found at other national monuments. Additionally, webmastered memorials highlight the vernacular strategies of narrative memory, which recall the individual responses and calls to action after 9/11. The internet both fosters the use of vernacular commemoration and hampers it through the use of commercially registered domain names. First, web memorials assist in the creation of vernacular commemorative communities in the form of web-rings. Second, however, the durability of the digital monuments is challenged by the very form they take due to their potentially ephemeral nature.
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In sizing up the notion of public memory, rhetoricians would be remiss not to consider the increasing influence of new media on today's remembrance culture. This article addresses memorial functions of the internet in light of recent scholarly debates about virtues and drawbacks of modern “archival memory” as well as the paradoxical link between the contemporary public obsession with memory and the acceleration of amnesia. To explore the strengths and limitations of the internet as a vehicle of collecting, preserving, and displaying traces of the past, the article examines The September 11 Digital Archive, a comprehensive online effort to document public involvement in recording and commemorating the tragedy of 11 September, 2001.
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User perspective and user studies have received noticeably little practical attention in archives and archival science. The purpose of this article is to address the issues of communication and user participation in archival contexts. Two action research projects-based digital archives are discussed. The insights gained during the research and development work are used to formulate a new approach to a participatory archive. In spite of the historical nature of the archives discussed, the suggested ways of interacting with an archive are not specific to historical records. The fundamental characteristics of the proposed approach are decentralised curation, radical user orientation, and contextualisation of both records and the entire archival process.
Using the recent donation of the Deena Larsen Collection to the University of Maryland as an example, Kirschenbaum discusses the ways in which digital objects challenge standard archival practices and assumptions. As he argues, digital objects are in a literal sense re-created each time they are accessed, a situation that poses unique problems for keeping detailed records of the datastream flow. He also notes programs that have chosen to archive obsolete machines as well as the objects that play on them, a strategy that places the archivist in the gritty material world of the engineer and circuit designer. The implication is that at every stage and level, archiving must transform to meet the challenges of born-digital objects, from theory to criteria for best practices to practice itself. This is what he calls the “.txtual condition.”
Archives have a long and troubled history as imperialist endeavors. Scholars of digital archives can begin to decolonize the archive by asking, how is knowledge imparted, in what media, by whom, and for what ends? Drawing on a six-year-long ethnohistorical study of Cherokee language and writing, I explore these questions and analyze the epistemological work of wampum, Sequoyan, and digital storytelling. I argue that decolonial digital archives have built into them the instrumental, historical, and cultural meanings of whatever media they include. To be understood in and on their terms, these media need to be contextualized within the notions of time, social practices, stories, and languages that lend them meaning. Copyright © 2013 by the National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved.
This essay considers the dispersed Samaritan manuscripts as a challenge for digital and rhetorical scholars. Although the entire Samaritan population of 760 lives in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, most of their manuscripts are housed in libraries, collections, and museums across the world. Drawing on interviews and archival research, I introduce the term textual diaspora to describe how some Samaritan Elders are strategically thinking about the future digital delivery of manuscripts in diaspora, and I suggest the importance of engaging with stakeholders when building digital repositories in the humanities. Copyright © 2013 by the National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved.
This article suggests ways digital tools and platforms can help researchers capture the local and global forces that interanimate local literacy scenes. As a concrete example, we offier Remixing Rural Texas (RRT), describing the way this digital tool works to capture a targeted literacy scene: the civil rights efforts of two African American students on a recently desegregated campus in 1967-68. RRT features an eighteen-minute documentary about these efforts, remixed almost entirely from existing archival materials, and a data-source annotation tool that connects the local literacy scene to global events. We conclude with an extended treatment of local stakeholders and the way RRT enables more sustainable, reciprocal, and participatory partnerships with the local community. Copyright © 2013 by the National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved.
This article describes the author's development of a digital historical tool that collects and visualizes metadata on women's pedagogical activities from the Progressive Era through the present. The tool, Metadata Mapping Project, offers a new take on historical mapping by focusing on the locatability of documents, subjects, and events, and by making it possible for users to trace activities that would otherwise occur as references in archival ephemera. Using one pedagogue as an example of how the database can work, this article also considers the implications of this and other tools for feminist rhetorical historiography, especially for constructing rhetorical ecologies that are not artifact based. Copyright © 2013 by the National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved.
Although rhetoric and composition has long engaged with emerging digital technologies, historians in our field have not yet in large part entered these conversations. In this special issue, we present four essays by scholars building digital historiographic projects, each of which directly addresses values and concerns that lie at the heart of critical practice in rhetoric and composition: engaging underrepresented and marginalized communities; taking up critically important questions regarding historiographic investigation; and emphasizing collaboration among both scholars and stakeholder groups. Together, these essays contribute significantly to the still nascent conversation regarding how the digital intersects with the historical.
The story is told of the poet Simonides of Ceos who, after chanting a poem in the honor of Scopas, was called from the banquet hall in which he had performed. During his absence the roof of the hall came crashing down, killing all of the guests. The guests' bodies were so maimed that their relatives were unable to identify the remains. Simonides, however, remembered where each guest was sitting just before he left the hall. He was able to identify the victims' remains by their positions in the destroyed hall. This is a founding legend of the rhetorical art of memory. As Cicero tells the story in De oratore, Simonides realized that "it is chiefly order that gives distinctiveness to memory; and that by those, therefore, who would improve this part of the understanding, certain places must be fixed upon, and that of the things which they desire to keep in memory, symbols must be conceived in the mind, and ranged, as it were, in those places; thus the order of places would preserve the order of things."1 The story also appears in Quintilian's Institutio oratoria and in the Rhetorica ad Herennium. Much later the story would be retold in the first paragraphs of Frances Yates's germinal book The Art of Memory.2 We remember this story here because it introduces three intersecting concepts that form the topoi of this volume: rhetoric, memory, and place. As the retelling of the Simonides story in Quintilian, Cicero, and Yates suggests, our interest in these three loci is part of a deep cultural history. As important as memory was in the founding works of the rhetorical tradition- memory was, after all, one of the five ancient canons of rhetoric- rhetorical studies has for years relegated memory to a background issue. Nor has Simonides' realization that place organizes memory been of much contemporary interest to rhetoric. The argument of this collection, however, is that within the contemporary moment rhetoric, memory, and place form complex and important relations. We began this project with the belief that exploring the relations among rhetoric, memory, and place is of crucial importance to understanding contemporary public culture. Public memory increasingly preoccupies scholars across the humanities and social sciences. Further, much of their scholarship suggests at least by implication that memory places are rhetorical. The position of this anthology is that strong understandings of public memory and of public memory places can emerge only by comprehending their specifically rhetorical character. The assumptions that motivate this collection are that memory is rhetorical and that memory places are especially powerful rhetorically. The essays in this book, then, explore places of public memory, attending in particular to their rhetorical (both symbolic and material) character and function. The contributing authors, who all work in some way at the nexus of rhetoric, memory, and place, offer a fascinating array of exemplary memory places, material conjunctions of our three entitling ideas. Our principal task in this introduction is to argue for the value of understanding public memory and public memory places as fundamentally rhetorical. Such a task does not imply a simple or uncomplicated vision of memory or of place. For reasons that we hope will become clear, introducing rhetoric to memory and place studies does not unify these fields of study or even simplify them.3 If anything, it adds complexity, but a congenial complexity, to the far-ranging, contemporary conversations about both memory and place. We explore the ways in which rhetoric, memory, and place seem to haunt one another in recent scholarship and how that haunting might be materialized in a serious, productive, and animated conversation among these different, highly complex coordinates of public life. We mean to stage this conversation not just as turn taking by three independently interesting participants. We stage it as a conversation of mutual recognition, one in which the participants articulate their own positions, but do so in relation to the other participants. Thus, the conversation narrows in focus as it successively takes up issues of interest to all three coordinates. We begin with a brief introduction about rhetoric, move on to a discussion of public memory in relationship to rhetoric, and finally take up the specific character of public memory places. © 2010 by The University of Alabama Press. All rights reserved.
This article seeks to extend the concept of “post-critical composition” through an analysis of two MEmorials, the post-critical genre Gregory Ulmer [Ulmer, Gregory L. (2005). Electronic monuments. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press] has been exploring for 15 years. I resist the tendency on the part of some post-critical theorists to reject the role of genres and models in favor of perpetual re-invention of genres and pedagogies with each composition. Through a combination of product analysis and process reflection, this article documents the necessary but flexible role the genre of MEmorial played in a student composition, “MEmorial for Afghanistan,” and in my own composition, “Strangers in Strange Lands: A MEmorial for the Lost Boys of Sudan*.” This essay is an extension of not only post-critical composition but also online memorialization, described by National Public Radio [National Public Radio. (2007, May 28). Online memorials to the war dead. Day to day. Retrieved June 5, 2007, from] as a “modern phenomenon” and identified by Joyce Walker [Walker, Joyce. (2007). Narratives in the database: Memorializing September 11th online. Computers and Composition 24(2), 121–153] as a potentially powerful means of encouraging “cyborg citizens.”
Though we live in a time when memory seems to be losing its hold on communities, memory remains central to personal, communal, and national identities. And although popular and public discourses from speeches to films invite a shared sense of the past, official sites of memory such as memorials, museums, and battlefields embody unique rhetorical principles. Places of Public Memory: The Rhetoric of Museums and Memorials is a sustained and rigorous consideration of the intersections of memory, place, and rhetoric. From the mnemonic systems inscribed upon ancient architecture to the roadside accident memorials that line America's highways, memory and place have always been deeply interconnected. This book investigates the intersections of memory and place through nine original essays written by leading memory studies scholars from the fields of rhetoric, media studies, organizational communication, history, performance studies, and English. The essays address, among other subjects, the rhetorical strategies of those vying for competing visions of a 9/11 memorial at New York City's Ground Zero; rhetorics of resistance embedded in the plans for an expansion of the National Civil Rights Museum; representations of nuclear energy-both as power source and weapon-in Cold War and post-Cold War museums; and tours and tourism as acts of performance. By focusing on "official" places of memory, the collection causes readers to reflect on how nations and local communities remember history and on how some voices and views are legitimated and others are minimized or erased. © 2010 by The University of Alabama Press. All rights reserved.
Contemporary U.S. memorial as exemplars of rhetoric's materiality
  • Carole Blair
Blair, Carole. (1999). Contemporary U.S. memorial as exemplars of rhetoric's materiality. In Jack Selzer, & Sharon Crowley (Eds.), Rhetorical bodies (pp. 16-57). Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press.
Finishing my first Boston marathon in 76 days, 12 hours, and 55 minutes. Our marathon
  • David Bloome
Bloome, David. (2013). Five ways to read a curated archive of digital literacy narratives. In H. Lewis Ulman, Scott L. DeWitt, & Cynthia L. Selfe (Eds.), Stories that speak to us: Exhibits from the digital archive of literacy narratives. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press. briankeaney. (2013). Finishing my first Boston marathon in 76 days, 12 hours, and 55 minutes. Our marathon. Retrieved from http://www/
Re-mediating vernacular creativity: Digital storytelling
  • Jean Burgess
Burgess, Jean. (2006 February). Re-mediating vernacular creativity: Digital storytelling. In Paper presented at First Person: International Digital Storytelling Conference. Retrieved from Card from child in Texas. (2013). Our marathon. Retrieved from
A grounded theory approach for studying writing and literacy
  • Kerrie Farkas
  • Christina Haas
Farkas, Kerrie, & Haas, Christina. (2012). A grounded theory approach for studying writing and literacy. In K. M. Powell, & P. Takayoshi (Eds.), Practising research in writing studies (pp. 81-95). New York, NY: Hampton Press.
The.txtual condition
  • Matthew G Kirschenbaum
Kirschenbaum, Matthew G. (2014). The.txtual condition. In N. Katherine Hayles, & Jessica Pressman (Eds.), Comparative textual media: Transforming the humanities in the postprint era (pp. 53-70). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Number injured in marathon bombing revised downward to 264. The Boston Globe
  • Deborah Kotz
Kotz, Deborah. (2013, April 24). Number injured in marathon bombing revised downward to 264. The Boston Globe. Retrieved from https://www.
Stories that speak to us: Exhibits from the digital archive of literacy narratives
  • Cynthia L Selfe
  • Consortium
Selfe, Cynthia L., & the DALN Consortium. (2013). Narrative theory and stories that speak to us. In H. Lewis Ulman, Scott L. DeWitt, & Cynthia L. Selfe (Eds.), Stories that speak to us: Exhibits from the digital archive of literacy narratives. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press. sgechijian. (n.d.). Sperrys: Lost & found. Our marathon. Retrieved from
Stories that speak to us: Exhibits from the digital archive of literacy narratives
  • H Ulman
  • Lewis
Ulman, H. Lewis. (2013). A brief introduction to the digital archive of literacy narratives (DALN). In H. Lewis Ulman, Scott L. DeWitt, & Cynthia L. Selfe (Eds.), Stories that speak to us: Exhibits from the digital archive of literacy narratives. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press.