Black Reconstructions: Archival Assembly and Histories of American Education

Professor Givens will explore why the violence of the archive is a pressing matter for the field of education research. He will also discuss his work on reconstructing the life-worlds of African American teachers and students during the 19th and 20th centuries, while focusing particularly on what he calls “archival assembly,” a methodological approach he employs to disrupt racialized gaps and silences in the historical record. This mode of black (historical) study is essential for achieving a more expansive vision of the educational past and futures.

Speaker Bio
Jarvis R. Givens is an associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a faculty affiliate in the department of African & African American Studies at Harvard University. He is the author of the multi-award-winning Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching (Harvard University Press, 2021) and School Clothes: A Collective Memoir of Black Student Witness (Beacon Press, February 2023). Professor Givens co-edited We Dare Say Love: Supporting Achievement in the Educational Life of Black Boys (Teachers College Press, 2018), and he recently prepared new editions of two African American classics: Carter G. Woodson’s The Mis-education of the Negro (Penguin Classics, 2023) and Booker T. Washington’s Up from Slavery (Norton Library, 2023). In partnership with Professor Imani Perry of Princeton University, he is building The Black Teacher Archive, a digital humanities project sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and focused on preserving the political and intellectual legacy of African American schoolteachers before 1970.