Independent Study project
I’ve been posting about my Independent Study project at http://literaryclubs.wordpress.com. I am writing an abstract for a presentation I am giving at the Thinking Matters conference at USM. This is what I have so far with a link to a similar abstract.
In the late 1800s, woman’s clubs were a source of education, power, a sense of solidarity, and tools for civic engagement. As women have gained more equality and access to higher education and better pay, membership in these clubs has dropped. Utilizing the historical collection of one such club’s documents and photos, this study examines the value of female citizenship and the cultural contributions made by the Woman’s Literary Union to its local and global communities. The approach is interdisciplinary, drawing on theories of interpretive community, female citizenship, media communications, and cultural studies. The study includes cataloging, digitizing, and archiving WLU’s collection and making it accessible to members, researchers, and scholars. Acquiring funds through grants for the creation of a digital collection, museum exhibits, and scholarly texts for public education is part of this study. The use of social networks and traditional media will be incorporated in a campaign to raise awareness of the club, its collection, and its civic engagement. The results of increased club advocacy will reveal whether club membership is positively affected.