Robin Keagle Internship Portfolio


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Robin Keagle Internship Portfolio

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For many reasons, The Journal of the Plague Year internship is the culmination of my graduate school experience. Other than my Public History Methodology course, my exposure to this field was quite limited. Now, this internship is prompting me to broaden my scope of professional interest and explore all that archival and preservation work has to offer. It is an exciting prospect that I look forward to pursuing soon.

There are so many aspects that I enjoyed during my time with JOTPY. Although the curation experience I gained and the people I met tie at a close second, my favorite experience was identifying silences within the archive. I had no idea that within a year of reading Marisa J. Fuentes’s, Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive, I would be identifying an Indigenous silence within the JOTPY archive. Creating the collection, Indigenous Point of View, to combat this silence was a unique experience that I will never forget. I gained invaluable experience writing its Call for Submissions and Indigenous POV Press Release while critically thinking how to build the collection. I learned so much about resilience within Indigenous culture throughout North America and look forward to other ways to assist in Indigenous land sovereignty efforts and the demarginalization of this beautiful culture.

As for other notable experiences, my time with JOTPY allowed me to practice thinking like a historian while curating, conducting oral histories, and co-creating a digital exhibit. Also, I was able to informally network with JOTPY leads during some of the weekly Town Hall meetings and observe planning sessions on marketing events such as the one-year anniversary of the archive. It was fascinating to participate in these conversations while getting to know JOTPY partners across the country. What an invaluable opportunity.

Thank you to Dr. Mark Tebeau, who quickly responded to my email expressing interest in the internship. Also, an enthusiastic thank you to Dr. Kole. Not knowing what to expect when I started with JOTPY, I wondered how much the interns would work together. However, her peer-review assignments and her encouragement for intern collaboration created many opportunities to connect. Her method of facilitation was succinct, fun, and fostered so much collaboration within my cohort.

Enduring the COVID-19 pandemic with fellow interns across North America made these first four months of 2021 so much more bearable. We shared a moment in history in a way that the majority of the world never will. I leave this unique internship with valuable new archival skills that I am confident will serve me well. I move forward with more historical tools in my toolbelt, new professional connections, and new friends. A great way to conclude indeed.

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This item was submitted on April 25, 2021 by Robin Keagle using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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