This article argues that historians of composition studies are burdened by adherence to history-as-narrative in archival research, whether supporting or countering master narratives of the field. I propose that historians redefine their work in conversation with the principles of archival ethnography, a concept from the field of library and information science. Reseeing historiography through this lens means privileging the position of the archivist as community interloper, thus creating a shift in responsibility from interpretation of archival material to public transmission thereof. Re-imagining the historian's role as ethnographic also aims to redress the ethical burden of inevitable re-presentation of past agents, practices, and values.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Literature and Literary Theory