Volume 9, Issue 2 (2022) Proceedings from the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Document Academy


Comments from
Jodi Kearns, 2022 DOCAM Chair

Document Disease has long been a thinking space of mine that can be documented at least back to the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Document Academy—Are you sick of it yet? [Ba dum tsssss!]—and under the literal weight of an archives preserving a mountain of documents that make us uneasy, I challenged the DOCAM community to connect with this theme for the 2022 Annual Meeting.

Dating back at least to the 14th Century (OED), disease has been used to indicate absence of ease, uneasiness, discomfort; illness, sickness, malady; evil affection or tendency; and inconvenience. Participants prepared research and creative presentations covering topics such as gender variance, catching frogs, slowing down in museums, painting on museum walls, painting on political walls, misinformation, discussion of disease in historical documents, taxidermy bird preservation, vaccine debates, and ineffective metadata.

DOCAM’22 was hosted at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology at The University of Akron in the Rubber Capital of the World, Akron, Ohio. The Cummings Center is home to the National Museum of Psychology, the Archives of the History of American Psychology, and the Institute for Human Science & Culture—an organization built on the bedrock vision of exploring what it means to be human. On exhibition at the Center are Stanley Milgram’s Simulated Shock Generator, Walter J. Freeman’s lobotomy picks, and several editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Museum visitors are asked to share What Makes Us Human and responses range from cruelty and tears to contact comfort and helping others in ways that may put us at a disadvantage. The Center also holds scholarly research materials, objects, books, and films of psychologists who changed the ways we think about intelligence, behavior, and identity, and experiments that yet shift our personal information systems into disequilibrium (hat tip to Patrick Wilson).

Some of the best DOCAM stuff happens between formal presentations—at the gluten-free snack table, in the footnotes, scrawled on scraps and dropped into the Bordenomicon, in the poetry house, snagged by the proximity web. The in-between conversations have been noticeably absent during the past two years at online meetings. Yet, while it was a nice break from fully-online meetings, DOCAM really missed our colleagues unable to travel to meet with us in person. There was some discussion about future meetings and strategically located hubs where several sites benefit from in-person gathering while connecting to the other hubs in real time around the globe. DOCAM changes with the times.

I have long called my workplace a document playground. I’m so glad DOCAM could come play. I hope you, the reader, are drawn into the fun.

Comments from
Cris Shell, Graduate Assistant, Cummings Center

There was something magical about the Document Academy, though, at first, I couldn’t exactly figure out what I loved about the whole thing. I thought that maybe I loved the chance, if only for a moment, to share my work with an audience. Then, as time passed and I thought more about it, I considered that maybe the magic was the opportunity to sit under the document learning tree. While both are true, I recently realized that I gained something in DOCAM that my adventures through the wilderness looking for frogs never gave me. DOCAM gave me a chance to present at a conference, my first conference, a moment in my life and career that I will cherish, no matter what happens next. If I had known that attending conferences was like playing with old friends, friends I hope to play with again soon, I wouldn’t have waited so long to present. For that, my frog thanks you, and I thank you.

Comments from
Jennifer Bazar, Assistant Director, Cummings Center

I had the pleasure of opening the 2022 DOCAM meeting at the Cummings Center, my first introduction to the Document Academy community. When Jodi Kearns first invited me to speak, I had no idea what to expect. No matter what I might have imagined, Document Academy wasn’t it: instead, it broke all the rules - in the best way possible.

I’ve always enjoyed conferences. For me, they cause a disruption from the status quo. The combination of an endless cup of coffee paired with presentations of original work from colleagues new and old has tended to leave me energized and filled with new questions and new curiosities.

DOCAM 2022 was a supercharged version of that experience with its rich mix of ideas and approaches. Sessions paired traditional research papers (Laurie Bonnici & Jinxuan Ma) with contemporary dance (Kennedy Cole & Molly Bagatto) and speculative essays (Tim Gorichanaz) with collaborative mural painting (Francisca Ugalde). Poetry (Callan Latham), creative writing (Cristopher Shell), and family history (Bhuva Narayan) pushed at the boundaries of how to engage with a research question.

I had been hesitant to present an in-progress project that followed personal curiosity more than informed hypothesis to this room of new faces but left the weekend with the energy I anticipate from the close of a conference and a slate of new lenses through which I can see the project developing. The creativity in the room over the two days was contagious and I dare say I have caught the “document disease.”

Conference Proceedings


Translation Disease: Proximity Gone Awry
Laurie J. Bonnici and Brian C. O'Connor


Document Dimensions of iMuseum’s Instagram Posts
Ciwuk Musiana Yudhawasthi, Lydia Christiani, and Widya Damayanti


Webs of Proximity and Just-in-Time Information
Carrie A. Boettcher, Laurie J. Bonnici, and Brian C. O'Connor

Creative Works


No Canvas, No Rules
Francisca B. Ugalde

Issue Editors

Tim Gorichanaz
Editor, DOCAM'22 Chair
Jodi Kearns
Kiersten F. Latham

Conference Information

Theme: Document Disease
August 12-13, 2022

DOCAM'22 Program & Abstracts

Drs. Nicholas & Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology,
The University of Akron
Akron, Ohio, USA