Dissertation Information for Christa V Hardy
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: Piecing a quilt: Jessie Carney Smith and the making of African American women's history
Abstract: This is a critical analysis of Jessie Carney Smith's Notable Black American Women (1992) as an illustration of black feminist knowledge production. It explores the contributions of Dr. Smith to African American women's and library history during her more than four decades as Head Librarian at historically black Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Under her editorship, Notable Black American Women was a pioneering effort to fill the previously long-existing gap in reference resources. Prior to 1992, mainstream reference publishers had never published biographical dictionaries concerning African American women's historical contributions and achievements. Over twenty years in the making, the inaugural volume contains 500 individually handcrafted biographies that chronicle the accomplishments of African American women. Using archival research, oral history and narrative analysis, I examine the influence of race, culture and gender on the research agenda and knowledge production of an African American woman librarian.
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