The Library as Junk Shop (play/teach)

I propose a session that frames the library as a junk shop. Inspired by the bricolage and pastiche skills cultivated by second-hand print cultures (zinesters, collagists, Dada), participants will subvert the library’s traditional role as a searchable repository by browsing the stacks for provocative visual rhetoric just as one might at their local thrift store. Participants will then reproduce their scavenged fodder, bringing them into their own compositions by using the copy/scan features of photocopiers found on every floor of the library.

Though I’ve used this activity with a unit on self-publishing (and will share this handout I’ve used), we might end this session by sharing our own compositions and discussing various ways we can reframe it in our own classes as a way to introduce students to multiple resources in our libraries, encourage visual composition, and to emphasize the role of serendipity and exploration in research.

Categories: Libraries, Publishing, Session: Play, Session: Teach, Visualizations |

About Jason Luther

I'm completing a dissertation in Composition and Cultural Rhetoric at SU focusing on zine networks since the rise of the popular web. Most of my projects in the last few years have revolved around DIY culture, affect and assemblage theory, and counter/publics. I'm starting a position in Fall 2017 in the Writing Arts Dept. at Rowan University in Southern NJ teaching mostly digital writing courses.

2 Responses to The Library as Junk Shop (play/teach)

  1. This sounds really great, Jason! And, we are in luck that our LP collection is still on-site in open stacks (classical, some jazz, some world music), so it is also able to be browsed. Inside the library pamphlet binders, there’s still some cool album covers.

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