University Library News
Georgia State University

Meet a Librarian: Jill Anderson

Jill Anderson, GSU Humanities Librarian

Who is Jill?

Jill is a coffee-loving Humanities Librarian, and works with the departments of History, African-American Studies, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She supports research in these areas through consultations, in-class instruction, and various kinds of outreach. Jill especially enjoys creative approaches to library instruction using primary sources, and developing collaborative workshops and instruction sessions with archivists in GSU’s Special Collections & Archives, including Morna Gerrard, Women and Gender Collections Archivist, and Kevin Fleming, Popular Music and Culture Archivist. She has also taught an Honors 1000 freshman seminar called “‘Going Steady?’: Documenting the History of Dating in American Culture, 1940-1990,” which is being offered again in Fall 2018.

What did she study?

In addition to her M.S. in Information Science, Jill holds a B.A., an M.A., and a Ph.D. in history, but she actually didn’t like most of her history classes in high school. She didn’t realize until she started taking (and enjoying) cultural and intellectual history courses in college that her beloved “Advanced Social Theories” class in high school had really been an intellectual history course. As a young child, she originally wanted to be a writer, and typed up a scrapbook’s worth of poems on her dad’s fancy new 1970 Sears electronic typewriter.

Jill still owns her father’s 1970 Sears electronic typewriter.

Jill’s love of writing has always intersected with her history studies:

“My history writing has always strongly overlapped with literary criticism, because I’ve always been interested in how young people engaged with artistic/literary thought and practices of their time to go about becoming writers.”

Brittney Cooper, Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower.

Jill’s Favorite Reads

Lately, she’s been reading work from Brittney Cooper; first Cooper’s groundbreaking book on African-American women’s intellectual history, Beyond Respectability (which just won a major award from the Organization of American Historians for best work in intellectual history for 2017), and then her more personal memoir Eloquent Rage. Jill loves the poetry of Stephanie Burt (previously published as Stephen Burt), and would recommend Burt’s latest collection, Advice from the Lights.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher, The Brimming Cup, with bonus Jackson Lears’ No Place of Grace sighting.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s novel The Brimming Cup is Jill’s go-to for comfort reading, and she also regularly revisits Siri Hustvedt’s novel What I Loved and Annie Dillard’s autobiography An American Childhood. No Place of Grace by Jackson Lears is the book that convinced her to major in history in spite of her English inclinations, and later inspired her to study under Lears at Rutgers for her Ph.D.