How to Use the Archive for Teaching
Lesson Plans. In 2020-2021 we created 12 lesson plans that offer detailed materials for instructors to use and adapt for their teaching, in many different kinds of courses. Some of these lesson plans are designed for one or two class sessions; others for more. Of course particular activities or assignments may be adopted without using the whole lesson plan. In addition, some lesson plans may be usefully combined to create modules or even entire courses. Some examples of lesson plans that could be combined include Gender, Black Feminisms and Intersectionality; or How I became an activist and Feminist Approaches to Leadership and/or Transnational Feminisms; or Interviews as Narratives, Data, and Sources and Representing Life Stories using Digital Tools. Another combination might be Interviews as Narratives, Data and Sources, Representing Life Stories Using Digital Tools and How I Became an Activist.
Interviews. Instructors have used the interviews in the GFP archive (which are currently drawn from 10 countries (Brazil, China, Germany, India, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Russia and the U.S.) in courses in a range of fields that include area studies, history, sociology, psychology, anthropology, political science, social work, and gender and women’s studies. These interviews can provide the core source materials for an entire course, or they can be used selectively to teach a particular topic, a concept, a method, a historical period within or across countries (for example, student movements of the 1960s in the U.S., the Sandinista era in Nicaragua, Solidarity in Poland, the Cultural Revolution in China, etc.), or geographic area (for example, feminist movements in Latin America with a focus on Brazil and Nicaragua). Instructors may choose to use the videotaped interviews in the native language or subtitled in English; or may use text transcripts in the original language of the interview (except in some cases in India) and in English. In some courses, video clips from interviews are watched together in class, while in others, students are asked to watch and write about full videos or transcripts.
Country Contexts. There are text introductions to every country we have interviews from; these introductions can provide some historical context, as well as introductions to the interviews, for both instructors and students. In addition, located on each country’s page is an interactive timeline of events in that nation’s history and particular events associated with gender and women’s rights. In addition, several different maps of the country are provided, as are national-level statistics on potentially-useful indicators. These are kept uniform across sites so instructors can easily make or assign comparisons.
Thematic films are available for each of the four original sites. They are useful introductions to each of these country’s interviews, as they provide some context for the project, and women’s activism and scholarship in these countries: China, India, Poland, USA. Transcripts for these films are also available here: China Transcript, India Transcript, Poland Transcript, USA Transcript. We do not have thematic films available for other sites.
We have included sample syllabi, assignments, and lesson plans using the materials. In designing the lesson plans, we considered de-centering the United States to enlarge students’ perspectives on the variety of feminist practices with examples from around the globe. Hence, our goal is to demonstrate the plurality of women’s experiences and feminisms. However, instructors who wish to focus exclusively on the U.S. can certainly use the archival material from the U.S. to do that. Our podcast series, Contextualizing Feminist Voices, was recorded in 2021 to provide additional information on the project’s materials. Each episode is brief (less than 10 minutes), with a project collaborator interviewing an expert who can provide context for the other materials and interviews. We hope the podcasts are useful to teachers as they prepare, and/or to assign students in advance of using materials from a particular country, and/or to play in the classroom for the whole group. For additional information on the project, the country sites, and the interviewees, we have compiled a bibliography for each site, and a list of publications that draw on the website materials (including one by Rios and Stewart on teaching).
The creation of the lesson plans and the other teaching resources was facilitated by a grant from the University of Michigan Humanities Collaboratory called “Expanding the Reach of the Global Feminisms Oral History Archive.” The entire project team, which included Professors Sueann Caulfield, Abigail Dumes, Abigail Stewart and Wang Zheng, graduate students Eimeel Castillo, Marisol Fila and Özge Savas, and undergraduate students Macy Afsari, Karis Blaker, Zoe Boudart and Hanna Smith, worked on developing the materials. In particular, Eimeel Castillo, Marisol Fila and Özge Savas created the lesson plans, with the assistance and advice of Darin Stockdill, Instructional and Program Design Coordinator for the Center for Education Design, Evaluation and Research (CEDER) at the University of Michigan.