Propose a Session

Are you planning on coming to Telling Untold Histories on May 11? Propose a session topic by adding a reply below. You can also give people feedback on their session proposals to help shape your ideas before the big day.

What kinds of topics do we discuss in sessions? Everything from the Fine Line Between Access and Exploitation to How to Help Others Seek, Support and Share Their Own Story to the Depiction of LGBTQ Characters in YA Novels. The best unconference topics are open-ended, have a question or issue at their heart, and invite multiple perspectives. You can see last year’s unconference schedule here.

What to include:

  • Your name
  • Your Twitter user name (if you have one)
  • A brief session description, including the specific topic(s) or issue(s) you’d like to discuss.

Propose away!


6 thoughts on “Propose a Session

  1. Rob Snyder

    “Using PixStori to Create One-shot Documentaries.”
    PixStori,an app developed by Talking Pictures LLC, lets you combine a photo or other image with spoken commentary, an interview, or ambient sound. Mike Frisch and Michael Haller, who developed PixStori, have long experience in documentary work, oral history and museums and it shows in the simplicity, sophistication and versatility of this app. I have used PixStori to document my travels, outdoor adventures, and street musicians. PixStori was designed for use with iPhones, but will soon be available for use with Android phones. I would be happy to share my PixStori experiences with others who have used it or who seek to use it in the future. It has many great uses for family images, documentary work and oral history. For a sample of my PixStori work in Asia in the spring of 2016 as a Fulbright lecturer, check out this page–with a short video edited by Nicky Miller, a Rutgers University-Newark journalism student–at For more on PixStori, go to

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interpreting Activists: A Way into Contemporary Issues and Ideas. Every community has its gadflies, cranks, agitators, mavericks, and rebels. By uncovering and interpreting their stories we can address community issues–past and present–of concern to our constituents. This project can be done on large scale or small in a variety of formats. And by telling the histories of local activists we can drive home the critical message that every one of us can be an agent in history, empowered to better our lives and the lives of our communities.


  3. “Newark Neighborhood Histories”

    Newest Americans has recently received NEH funding for neighborhood history projects in three Newark neighborhoods: the Ironbound, University Heights and the West Side. The grant will enable us to collaborate with a wider array of local partners. We propose to take advantage of the various skill sets of Unconference participants to develop collaborative partnerships and gather informed perspectives on the wide range of activities the grant will enable: conducting research with high school and college students; crowdsourcing materials for the exhibit; maximizing community input; utilizing archival resources; developing mobile and interactive neighborhood exhibits; creating related curriculum, study guides and a digital media tool kit.

    More information about Newest Americans @


  4. Creating a Diverse Pipeline for History, Arts & Culture Careers
    According to the Mellon Foundation, the staff employed in the intellectual and leadership positions at art museums is astonishingly white: 84% Non-Hispanic White, 6% Asian, 4% Black, 3% Hispanic White, and 3% Two or More Races ( History museums are not much better. This is a huge issue for two major reasons. 1. museums and other organizations like them shape our national narratives and identity, so excluding people of color skews those stories and marginalizes those people and 2. there is no pipeline for people of color interested in these fields to move into leadership positions, which are decently-paid, stable, stimulating jobs.
    I’m proposing a session that talks specifics about how we can create a diverse pipeline in our state/region for people of color. What I’d like to produce are recommendations for organizations, universities and funders for dealing with this issue. Who’s with me?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Colony in Crisis in Haitian Creole Translation: Digital Scholarship in the Making at MSU

    The digital history project A Colony in Crisis: The Saint-Domingue Grain Shortage of 1789 ( is a virtual primary source document reader in translation focusing on colonial Saint-Domingue that was initiated by the University of Maryland in 2014. This reader offers three sets of curated English translations of French archival sources on political life, commerce, the lives of people of color, and the moments leading up to the Haitian Revolution.

    MSU Center for Translation and Interpreting and MSU Center for the Digital Humanities are now contributing to this project to offer a first set of Creole translations. Daphney Vastey and Pierre Malbranche, both French majors in the translation concentration, are the two student translators involved in the pilot phase of this endeavor. The students have been working under Dr. Laurence Jay-Rayon Ibrahim Aibo’s supervision to create digital artifacts for the Haitian community and Haitian Studies scholars. Together, they have been addressing the difficulties inherent to the interpretation of historical documents using an archaic French rhetoric dating back to the 1790s and their rending in modern Creole, as well as issues of accessibility and literacy.

    These historical translations are crucial inasmuch as they offer an account of colonial history in Haitian Creole, the language of the colonized people, as opposed to countless existing narratives in the ex-colonizers’ languages, such as French, English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

    Our session would involve a conversation about the collaborative nature of the project, the interpretation of historical documents dating back to the French revolution and Haitian revolution and their rendering in modern Creole, and issues of accessibility and literacy. The digital nature of the project will allow for the creation of audio recordings to take into account the preferences of the Haitian audience, who boast a rich oral history.


  6. April Hathcock (@AprilHathcock)
    “Representation vs Hypervisibility: Walking a Fine Line in Telling the Stories of Others”

    We talked about something similar in a session last year and the room was absolutely packed. We also ran out of time so didn’t really get to finish our conversation. I’d love to see us chat about this again. There seems to be such a fine line between telling someone’s “untold” story and creating a situation of hypervisibility that may not be desired or helpful. How do we empower members of communities to which we don’t belong to tell their stories in the ways they want and in the venues they choose? How do we handle it when we learn that they in fact do not want their stories told? How do we keep from colonizing the stories of others in the interest of “preserving cultural heritage”?

    A great example of what I’m talking about is my colleague Tara Robertson’s work on Reveal Digital’s decision to provide open access to digitized versions of On Our Backs, a feminist porn print magazine: Another example is the recent protest of a white artist’s rendition of Emmitt Till’s death on display at the Whitney Museum:

    Liked by 2 people

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