Special Collections Libraries Faculty Teaching Fellows

Program Overview

In 2015, the University of Georgia Libraries and the UGA Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) established a faculty development opportunity for individuals who teach full-time at The University of Georgia to explore archives-based learning as a high impact learning practice through intensive workshops with archivists in the University’s special collections libraries:  the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, and the Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection.  Special Collections Libraries Faculty Fellows apply this learning to adapt an existing course or to develop a new course to include an archives-focused approach to the pedagogy and the course content. This program is inspired by the comprehensive work of TeachArchives.org


Archives-Based Learning

Effective archives-based learning enhances student engagement, performance, and retention across all higher education disciplines.  Students who engage with primary sources in an archives setting build observation and summarization skills, learn to work collaboratively to analyze information and solve problems, and discover the sensory and emotional impact of handling historical materials. These skills and experiences help students understand and value the interconnected processes of research and analysis that draw upon many resources, approaches, and viewpoints to generate rigorous scholarship.

Archives-based learning works best when instructors and archivists collaborate to craft archives-centered assignments and projects that align with course goals, provide clear learning objectives, offer guidance and direction, balance logistical constraints, and illuminate the intrinsic value of historical materials for research and for life. The Special Collections Libraries Faculty Fellows (SCL Fellows) program provides a wonderful, engaging, and exciting archives-centered faculty development experience in a convivial and collaborative environment that values experimentation, reflection, and, yes, even fun!

Recent studies have demonstrated that effective archives-based learning enhances student engagement, performance, and, in some cases, student retention across all higher education disciplines (www.teacharchives.org).  Students who engage with primary sources in an archives setting build observation and summarization skills, learn to work collaboratively to analyze information and solve problems, and discover the sensory and emotional impact of handling historical materials. These skills and experiences help students understand and value the interconnected processes of research and analysis that draw upon many resources, approaches, and viewpoints to generate rigorous scholarship.



Program Goals


Selection of Participants 


Applicants must be full-time employees of the University of Georgia who commit to teaching their new or revamped archives-centered course within 18 months of completing the formal training of the Fellows program. The SCL Fellows program is open to all University teaching faculty, tenure-track and non-tenure track. Demonstrated passion for and commitment to excellence in teaching, and an interest in experimentation and innovation in approaches and techniques are key factors for selection. Consistent attendance and robust participation in the activities of the program are essential. Attendance at the 4-day May Institute is required. (See timetable below.)​

Special Collections Libraries Faculty Fellows Stipend 

The SCL Fellows program provides instructional support and a $2000 stipend. The funds may be used to enhance a fellow’s knowledge about archives, archival theory and practice, or archives-based pedagogy through participation in and/or attendance at professional workshops or conferences. The funds may also be used towards research, preparation, and development of the archives-focused course including hiring a University of Georgia student to perform work to support these activities. Fellows may also use these funds to buy supplies or equipment in direct support of the course. Fellows may apply fund towards course buyout during the period in which they are developing their archives-centered course or in the same semester when they are teaching their archives-centered course. (The application of stipend funds towards buyout is subject to any and all rules that govern such arrangements in the departments of Fellows). The stipend may not be applied to a Fellow’s salary.  Fellows have 24 months from disbursement to expend stipend funds and to report how they have made use of the funds.


Application Process

The program continues annually with a call for application in mid-August, application deadline in early October, interviews with prospective participants in October and early November, and selection of cohort members in mid-November.

2018 Special Collection Libraries Faculty Fellows Cohort 

2018 SCL Fellows Cohort Application



2018 SCL Fellows Program Description and Schedule

All events take place in the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Libraries Building, University of Georgia, 300 South Hull Street, Athens, Georgia. 


December Kickoff Events

The program begins in early December with a welcome dinner for new Fellows that also serves as a reunion with past Fellows cohorts. The following day, new Fellows will participate in the first workshop of the Fellows program.

Spring Semester Workshops

From January through April the formal instructional program continues with 2 workshops per month on Wednesday afternoons from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Specific dates outlined here:

May Institute 

Beginning Tuesday, May 8, 2018 and concluding on Friday, May 11, 2018, the formal instructional phase of the SCL Fellows Program concludes with an intensive, 4-day institute. Each day, from 8:30-3 p.m., fellows will present course and assignment plans to each other for feedback, conduct in-depth research, and meet with representatives to learn about useful campus resources.

Continuing Support and Collaboration

The Special Collections Libraries Fellows committee provides support and assistance to Fellows to manage the final development of the courses through group meetings and individual conferences. SCL Fellows provide assessment of their experiences of the Fellows program instruction after the institute in May and again following their experience of teaching their archives-centered course.


Program Contacts: 


For more information about the Special Collections Libraries Faculty Fellows program, please contact Jill Severn at jsevern@uga.edu or 706-542-5766.

Special Collections Libraries/ Center for Teaching and Learning Instructional Team: 


Chuck Barber

Mazie Bowen
Public Services Coordinator
Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries

Anne Devine
Outreach and Access Coordinator for Rare Books

Mary Miller
Peabody Awards Archivist
Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection 

Jill Severn
Head of Access and Outreach
Richard B Russell Library for Political Research and Studies 

Laura Shedenhelm
Media Archives Cataloger
Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection
Bibliographer for Latin America, Spain, & Portugal
University of Georgia Libraries

Megan Mittelstadt
Assistant Director for Faculty Development and Recognition
Center for Teaching and Learning


2017 Special Collections Libraries Faculty Fellows

Brandon Craswell craswell@uga.edu
Hugh Hodgson School of Music
MUSI 4820/6820, Brass Chamber Music

The goal for fall semester’s brass quintets will be to familiarize the groups with the music of Fred Mills. Each group will be required to find and perform an arrangement from the Fred Mills Collection, part of the University Archives of the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library.  Each group will select a piece of their choosing from the collection, after developing the skillset to peruse the materials. The culminating project will be a recital entitled The Music of Fred Mills, where each brass quintet will perform one of his arrangements. I’m hoping to have both the student groups and perhaps even the faculty brass quintet perform on this recital.


Elizabeth Davis eadavis@uga.edu
Department of English
ENGL 4830W, Advanced Studies in Writing

Students will be doing advanced level independent research preparation. For the class I am designing around archival work, I would like students to learn about and engage in the process of searching for materials in special collections themselves. This is an advanced writing course, so one of the course objectives is to develop students’ research skills and archival work will be a method of achieving that goal.


Kate Fortmueller Kate.fortmueller@uga.edu
Department of Entertainment and Media Studies
EMST5990, Southern Media

For many of us, our hometown, state, region, and nation all carry emotional attachments and have contributed to our experiences and worldviews. Although we are often personally connected to place, setting in films and television shows can serve an array of functions from anonymous backdrop to important character. Where characters live might influence any number of factors, from accent to opportunities to plotlines. Locations might also carry negative connotations that fuel entrenched stereotypes. Increasingly the setting of a show might be different from its shooting location, a fact which might complicate our understanding of constructions of space and place on screen.

This course will center on several key questions: What is the importance of place in media? How does space and place inform narrative? How do characterizations of a region change in relation to genre? We will explore these big questions about space, place, narrative, and genre by looking specifically at programs set in the South. All the screenings in this class will come from the Peabody Collection, which means someone felt that these programs were of superior quality to other media of its time. At the end of the semester the students will take all these lessons about writing and characterizing place and use them in service of either a treatment or a final research paper.


Tina Harris tmharris@uga.edu
Department of Communication Studies
FYO Seminar, Getting to Know You: Race According to Athens

First-year students enrolled in the course will most likely be discussing race for the first time. For them, race is an abstract concept or a historical phenomenon or issue that is far removed from their current situation. In this seminar, students will consider the connections between contemporary race relations in Athens and patterns of racial segregation and racism that have characterized the city’s history. Drawing upon historical footage from the Brown Media Archives—chiefly, the Athens Amateur Town Film from 1947—and oral history interviews from the Russell Library, students will use historical evidence in special collections to enrich their understanding of the connections between past and present in shaping ideas about race in the town in which they will live and study.


Melissa Scott Kozak mskozak@uga.edu
Department of Human Development and Family Science

Students will learn about the interdependence between family functioning and public policies at the local, state, and federal levels. Archival documents from the Special Collections Library will be integrated throughout the course to identify the role Georgia has played in family policy issues (education, healthcare, marriage, trafficking, etc.). The course will include theoretical frameworks for conceptualizing family policy, roles professionals can play in building family policy, and approaches professionals can use in implementing these roles. Students will ultimately develop policy reports that utilize archival documents from the Special Collections Library as they contextualize a family policy issue and provide recommendations for action.


Becca Leopkey bleopkey@uga.edu
Department of Kinesiology


John Lowe jwlowe@uga.edu
Department of English
ENGL 4740, Georgia Literature: An Archival Approach

This course will explore the dazzling literary output of our state, from Native American creation stories to the current day. Our survey will consider comic tales of the old Southwest, narratives of slavery, black folklore, and Confederate poetry. While we will read other poems and portions of memoirs, our major focus will be on the twentieth century short story and novel. Several of our classes will be held in the Russell Special Collections Building, where students will have the opportunity to engage directly with archival materials relevant to our writers. Authors will include William Craft, Joel Chandler Harris, Sidney Lanier, August Baldwin Longstreet, W.E.B. DuBois, Erskine Caldwell, Flannery O’Connor, Martin Luther King, Carson McCullers, John O. Killens, Raymond Andrews, James Dickey, Toni Cade Bambara, and Judith Ortiz Cofer.


Nancee Reeves nreeves@uga.edu
Department of English
ENGL 1102, Aliens and Apparitions in the Archives

In this class, we will delve into the Special Collections Library to track down local ghost stories and explore the world of science-fiction fandom, all while learning how to analyze fantastic stories for what they tell us about ourselves. By handling and analyzing the various layers of text we will learn why we tell stories of phantoms and aliens, what they revel about the period in which they were written, and what they can tell us about our future.


Kathryn Roulston roulston@uga.edu
Qualitative Research, Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy
QUAL 9700, Interviews in the Archives

This course on interviews in the Special Collections Libraries is designed to engage students in UGA’s Special Collections, which include the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collections, and the Richard B. Russell Library of Political Research and Studies. We will have an initial introduction to each collection and how they are archived and organized. The course is designed for students to develop individual projects that focus on interviews that have been archived in the libraries. Students will learn about how interview collections are archived, as well as the range of materials available, including oral history collections, research interviews, media interviews and interviews with elite subjects. Through examination of the different interview collections, students will learn how to locate materials pertaining to individual research interests, and identify methodological issues pertaining to interview research (e.g., recruitment, interview-interviewee relationships and interview interaction, and representation).


Teresa Saxton tsaxton@uga.edu
Department of English
English 1102, Scandal in the Archives

Scandal in the Archives is a special topics English 1102 course that will explore the archival evidence from personal and public scandals and compare them to fictional representations of scandal. As such, the class will ask students to analyze how cultural restrictions define what a scandal is and how the representations of scandals in literature and film question or support these ethical structures. Students will be asked to write papers exploring these themes and to produce a narrative that applies the theories produced in the class by turning a scandal into a narrative form.


Beth Tobin btobin@uga.edu
Department of English and Women’s Studies
WMST 4250/6250, Women in the Archives

Using the library’s special collections, students will discover the untold stories of women who have shaped Georgia’s natural environment. In this class, we will learn about women’s activities as environmental activists, gardeners, sharecroppers, and farmers as well as the work of naturalists, ecologists, and science teachers who generated knowledge about the natural world. Most of the course work will be based in the archives of Special Collections, where the class will learn how to navigate these archives, finding and analyzing documents, maps, photos, and films with the goal of telling stories about women’s engagement with Georgia’s natural environment.


Eileen Wallace Wallace1@uga.edu
Lamar Dodd School of Art
ARST 4XXX/6XXX, Thematic Inquiry

This course will delve deeply into the rich resources of the special collections libraries to investigate primary source materials as inspiration and content for studio artists. Students will work primarily in the Hargrett Rare Books & Manuscripts library to refine their research skills and understand the collection. We will combine the history of materials and methods with our interpretations, reactions and perceptions of these materials to create new works of art.


2016 Special Collections Libraries Faculty Fellows 


Garrison Bickerstaff gbick@uga.edu 
Division of Academic Enhancement
UNIV 1115, Academic Writing

Using University of Georgia yearbooks and other published and unpublished materials related to student life as source materials, the students complete writing assignments and explore where they reflect on how the experiences of college have changed and persisted over time.


Cynthia Camp ctcamp@uga.edu
Department of English
ENGL 4230, Middle English Literature

This course introduces students to the field of manuscript studies, focusing on the genre of book known as the Book of Hours (a kind of prayer book). The capstone project of the course, which will extend over several course iterations, is to examine and unpack the Book of Hours held by the Hargrett Library; students will be doing original research on this unique manuscript.



Kathleen deMarrais kathleen@uga.edu
Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy 9700,
QUAL 9700 Document Analysis Using the Special Collections Libraries

This course provides doctoral level students with opportunities to examine document analysis methodologies through the use of the UGA Special Collections Libraries. Through individual and group activities, students design and implement an archive-based research project.


Brian Drake bdrake@uga.edu
Department of History
HIST 3073, America 1945-Present

This course provides the introduction to independent original research through the lens of recent U.S. history 1945-present. Students develop research and write a 10-page paper responding to the general prompt, What did Georgians think about X? The primary sources for these essays are views expressed by constituents writing to Georgia congress members about issues of importance to them. These materials come from the Russell Library’s congressional collections and help students to frame good historical research questions to explore and develop their ability grapple with multiple and sometimes contradictory evidence.


Benjamin Ehlers behlers@uga.edu  
Department of History
HIST 3371, Tudor-Stuart England

This course examines the history of the British Isles from the late fifteenth to the early eighteenth century. Under the Tudor and Stuart monarchs, England developed from a relatively minor and peripheral region into an incipient world power, with a growing industrial base and a flourishing overseas empire. By studying this period of British history, we seek to understand the rise of modernity in a context highly relevant to the future United States. Major themes for discussion include the English Reformation, the evolution of the monarchy, the Civil War and the common people, English territories abroad, and developments in science and the arts. The reading materials for this course consist of both a textbook and primary sources. I supplement the readings listed below with other materials, both written and visual, over the course of the semester. Those marked ELC will be available on E-Learning Commons. This course will make significant use of materials in UGA’s Special Collections.


Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin dramma@uga.edu
Department of Theatre and Film Studies, Institute for African American Studies
THEA 4800, Performing the Archives

This course uses primary sources from the Russell Library exhibition On the Stump! What does it take to get elected in Georgia? as the source materials to develop an original script and performance of the Three Governor's Controversy of 1947.


Hilda Kurtz hkurtz@uga.edu
Department of Geography
GEOG 3630, Introduction to Urban Geography

Students explore archival materials related to Athens, Georgia and its urban geography to develop knowledge of this history and to develop effective research questions related to the city's history with public housing.


Akela Reason areason@uga.edu
Department of History
HIST 4027/6027, Museums, Monuments, and Memorials

Students explore the three themes of this course through the lens of material culture study, documentary analysis, and recent scholarship in history and public history. Working in small groups, students develop research, design, and host focused interpretive exhibits using materials in the Hargrett, Russell, and Brown collections. Students present their work in a public pop-up exhibit pop-up in special collections during the final exam period for the class.


Spenser Simrill SPENSER@UGA.EDU
Department of English and Division of Academic Enhancement
UNIV 1120, Archives-Based Documentary Filmmaking

Students explore materials from the Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection to inspire and contribute to short documentary projects they create to develop skills and techniques for making effective documentary film projects.


Kristen Smith kmsmith@uga.edu
Department of Public Relations
ADPR 3520, Graphic Communication

In this course, students gain the skills to design messages for particular audiences and to prepare designs correctly for print, digital, and social environments. Students learn to analyze and to use the principles of design, typography, layout, color theory, art and illustration, and copyright law. Adobe Creative software is used to produce a variety of projects for student portfolios. At the end of the special collections edition of this course, students are able to: • identify the primary style movements of the 20th century; • analyze primary documents from the 20th century and discuss them relative to principles of design and typography and in terms of the social/political/economic contexts in which they were made; • design print materials and social media graphics based on the styles observed in the primary sources and with an understanding of the style implications.


M. Montgomery Wolf mwolf@uga.edu
Department of History
HIST 2111, U.S. History to 1865

Students in a large 100-300-person survey course in early U.S. history perform basic to intermediate tasks in special collections to learn about the nature of primary sources and how historians use this evidence to write history.