American Contact: lntercultural Encounter and the History of the Book

Rhae Lynn Barnes (History)

Supported by a Humanities Council David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Grant

In a collaboration with colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins, this project explores the use of material texts in cross-cultural encounters in the Americas, creating a published volume and web resources for K-12 and university classrooms. It will create 30 single-object case studies and multimedia representations, with a digital humanities component developed in part through a Fall 2019 Cultural History graduate seminar. 

Find more information on the American Contact website.


In this second phase of the project, there will be a workshop in the fall which invites participants of the spring 2020 symposium and guest speakers.

During Wintersession there will be modules for graduate students utilizing the special collections at Princeton and UPenn. Students will learn how to work with material texts, develop lesson plans , and edit digital video instructional content.


The April 2020 symposium brought fifty scholars from multiple disciplines and career stages to Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania for two and a half days. A hands-on workshop at Princeton and a pop-up exhibit at University of Pennsylvania showcased both institutions’ special collections. The symposium program featured talks on a wide range of topics, including several collaborative projects.

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