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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons


a guide for the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Awareness Den on the 1st floor of the library - a place for contemplation & discovery


Spring semester 2020 we collaborated with classes exploring issues of identity for display in the IDEA Den. Student work from these classes are celebrated here.  Students in IDS 333A completed zines using materials from the SSU Archives and students in SOC 306 created book talks.  Due to the library's temporary closure due to restrictions brought about by COVID-19 this will be an all virtual display.

IDS333A "The Global US: The World in 'America' and 'America' in the World'


Spring 2020
(A Project of the American Studies Program at SSU in partnership with the Berry Library and the Salem State University Archives and Special Collections)

        Salem, Massachusetts, just eighteen miles northeast of Boston has always been a city connected to and influenced by cultures and peoples from around the world. The story of a global Salem is varied and rich. From the era in which original inhabitants of Naumkeag interacted with English settler-colonists who began establishing homes here in the 1600s, to the movements of goods and people from Salem around the world in the China trade, to waves of immigrants transforming and building the city’s economy, landscapes, politics, foodways and cultural and social institutions from the 19th c. until today, there has never been a “Salem” or an “America” that has not been “global”. Likewise, there has never been a “world” that has not been influenced by “Salem” or “America”. And issues of the global “past” are not just past. They are present in daily life in the 21st century.

     These student-authored zines--based on both materials held in the Salem State University Archives and Special Collections and the lived experiences of students in the here and now--showcase a number of the obvious and not-so-obvious ways in which what it means to be either an “American” or a “Salemite” is intimately connected to what it means to be a citizen of the world. Each exhibit engages a nation or region outside the US and explores a unique story about the impacts and influences of “American” and “non-American” people, places and cultures on one another. They link history and activism through a mechanism (zines) that offer agency to those who are often removed from knowledge-making and publication practices.


       From postcards to maps, from menus to cruise ship brochures, from lesson plans to advertising flyers, and from letters to photographs…and more…the material record created and saved by residents of Salem offer insights galore. Discussions of transnationalism, globalization, assimilation, "Americanization" and pluralism are woven throughout the student discussions of both the past and the present.

      May these zines inspire readers consider the connections between and among their own places of residence and the wonderful, deceptively small planet we all share in the here and now.


To learn more about each collection, please visit the Archives and Special Collections website.

To learn more about zines, check out this guide.

SOC 306 The Black Woman - Book Talks

The Black Woman

SOC 306 seeks to provide a sociological understanding of the everyday experiences of African American women in the United States. We examine the multiple and intersecting social structures (including racial, gender and class hierarchies) that constrains and constructs Black women’s social location and shape their life chance and life experiences in the African-American community and dominant society.  

Students in SOC 306 read fiction and non-fiction titles, exploring stories relating to the experience of black women.  They engaged in critical thinking to better understand sociological themes and how they tie into real or fictional life experiences.  Students used visual literacy and information literacy skills to create persuasive book talks in order to communicate the meaning of their stories and the connections to sociological thinking to a larger audience.

Heads of the Colored People | Book Talk

A Mighty Long Way | Book Talk

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl | Book Talk

On the Come Up | Book Talk 1

On the Come Up | Book Talk 2

The Revolution of Birdie Randolph | Book Talk

Additional titles