Kathleen deMarrais, professor and department head of the department of lifelong education, administration and policy, was recently selected as one of 11 faculty members to participate in the inaugural UGA Special Collections Libraries Faculty Fellows Program.
The faculty participants come from a range of disciplines and departments including history; public relations; African-American Studies, theater and film studies; English; and lifelong education, administration, and policy. The program is made possible by the generous donations from Libraries supporters and the leadership of P. Toby Graham, university librarian, and C. Edward Watson, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. Next year, the fellows will attend a series of workshops and seminars to develop archive-centered courses for their students. They will begin teaching these new courses during the fall semester.
DeMarrais said she is looking forward to using the facility's tools, models and resources to gain a better view on how each library—the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies and the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection—can enhance her teaching.
"As someone outside the disciplines that typically focus on historical archives, this is a wonderful opportunity to see how I can integrate the collections within my qualitative research courses," said deMarrais. "This program will enable me to learn more about how archives work and how they are selected and maintained, while encouraging a deeper engagement with various special collections resources at UGA."
She plans on refining her qualitative research design course even more, so her students can gain experience working with historical documents. She will share her project with the other faculty fellows and archivists next May.
Archive-centered courses are essential for engaging students in authentic projects, as well as with original documents throughout history, said deMarrais. "Students can develop a deeper appreciation for the work and lives of those who lived before them by viewing and touching original photos, writings and other documents in the collection."
"Since our department is a graduate studies only department, it is great to have the university recognize and support graduate education in this way," she said. "This is a wonderful new collaborative program between the CTL and the Special Collections Libraries."
DeMarrais said she is eager to see how her graduate students will use the archives to further their own research. Her program of study is focused on qualitative pedagogies, philanthropy, education, ethnography and the fictional approaches to qualitative research.