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Archives at the Margins: Toward a Liberatory Pedagogy in Anthropology

By Angela C. Jenks

Cite As:
Jenks, Angela. 2022. “Archives at the Margins: Toward a Liberatory Pedagogy in Anthropology.” Cultural Anthropology 37, no. 3: 387–394.


This essay reflects on the academic margins as a space of openness for anthropological teaching and learning. I describe an activity in which students in a medical anthropology course analyzed primary source materials documenting Black health social movements that were curated for the class by a community archive in Los Angeles. Using this example, I explore possibilities for reshaping anthropological teaching toward an engaged, liberatory pedagogy that reconceptualizes knowledge as co-created, centers marginalized voices and experiences, and links theory to justice-oriented social action.


critical pedagogy; archives; health activism; knowledge construction