Charles Rush Forker Papers

Forker Blog008Charles Rush Forker, late Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University, was born on March 11, 1927 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The eldest son of Edson W. and Mary Rush Forker, Charles received his early education at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio.  After his graduation in 1945, Forker was quickly drafted into the U.S. Army, near the close of the Second World War.  He served two years in the army as a medical corpsman.  Upon leaving the military in 1947, Forker enrolled in Bowdoin College where he studied Shakespeare and acted in plays as a member of the college-affiliated dramatic society.  Upon his graduation in 1951 (and induction into Phi Beta Kappa), Forker was selected as a recipient of a Fulbright grant to study at Oxford University in Great Britain.  He received a second B.A. there in 1953, remaining at Oxford under a graduate fellowship from Harvard University.  He received an M.A. from Oxford in 1955.  He soon returned to the United States to continue his doctoral studies at Harvard University and received his doctorate there in 1957.

Imitating a typical letter home to the families of ill soldiers, young Forker comically writes to his parents of the unfortunate news of his cancelled trip home for Christmas and his seemingly unstable state of mind brought on by such news.
Imitating a typical letter home to the families of ill soldiers, young Forker comically writes to his parents of the unfortunate news of his cancelled trip home for Christmas and his seemingly unstable state of mind brought on by such news.

As a scholar, Forker would undoubtedly be most proud of the contributions he made to his field.  However, some of his most significant and touching writings are unpublished.  Like many soldiers, while he was stationed in Germany Forker wrote regular letters to his family.  These letters reveal the trials of a young man turned soldier.  He was eighteen when he was drafted into the United States military and was disheartened by the monotony of soldier life.  Reading his letters it is clear that he liked to keep busy.  He enjoyed a challenge, and it did not seem the military could stimulate his mind to the extent that he needed.  His letters home offered him a space to escape with the people who knew him best.  Young Forker provided his family with detailed accounts of the atmosphere in Germany and the futility of war.  He could see the beauty beneath the rubble and wrote about it.  And, just as any young person would do, he asked his family to send candies and cookies, wrote about his time at the hospital, and sent postcards from his trips around Europe.  It is easy to say that he fell in love with all things England while he was abroad and carried that love with him back to the States.  He was a perpetual student and shared his passion for culture with those around him during his lifetime.  In a profile about him in the English Department’s newsletter Footnotes in 1980, the author seemed to perfectly capture Forker’s character: “Writing essays, reading plays, whipping up a bearnaise sauce, listening to Mozart, teaching classes, swimming…Charles Forker is a Renaissance man, indeed.”

Charles Forker’s papers consisting of correspondence, research, teaching files, and publications spanning 1937-2013 are housed at the IU Archives. A finding aid is now available at Contact the Archives for further information!

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Leon E. Pettiway Papers

portrait001Born just eight years before the Civil Rights Movement began in 1954, Leon Pettiway grew up in a racially segregated Durham, North Carolina.  He started his academic career at North Carolina University in Durham under Dr. Theodore Speigner, one of the few African Americans in the nation with a doctorate in geography.  From there he moved northwest and obtained his master’s in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1976.  Continuing his interest in geography, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received his Ph.D. in 1979.  A devoted scholar, he contributed numerous studies to the field of criminology.  In his initial research, he focused primarily on the felony of arson and progressed into the study of urban lifestyle, specifically of drug-using criminal offenders.

A grant awarded to him by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 1989 to study drug use and the spatial patterns of crime generated such scholarship. In what became known as the “urban lifestyles project,” Pettiway made significant contributions to the field of criminological research.  His study involved both a quantitative and qualitative approach to data collection, an innovative approach to crime research. His research material, including surveys, interviews, and data, can be found at the archives. In his research, he employed the assistance of former offenders and recovered drug users to conduct interviews of active drug users and offenders in North Philadelphia.  What resulted from his work was a series of publications: “Participation in Crime Partnerships by Female Drug Users: The Effects of Domestic Arrangements, Drug Use, and Criminal Involvement” (1987), “The Drug and Criminal Activities Patterns of Urban Offenders: A Markov Chain Analysis” (1994), and “Copping Crack: The Travel Behavior of Crack Users” (1995).

Honey Honey Miss Thang

Pettiway also published two books based on the life-history interviews recorded during the time he was in Philadelphia.  The works Honey, Honey, Miss Thang: Being Black, Gay, and on the Streets (1996) and Workin’ It: Women Living through Drugs and Crimes (1997) each gained Pettiway national recognition for being one of the first to observe how race, class, and gender intersect and influence the criminal behavior of urban individuals.

During this time, Pettiway also devoted time to teach at both the University of Delaware (1985-1994) and Indiana University (1994-2012).  At I.U. he applied his experience to teach courses on urban crime patterns, drug use and criminal behavior, theories of crime and deviance, and quantitative methods.

His later career has been inspired by his conversion to Buddhism and his position as a fully ordained Tibetan Buddhist monk.   In his upcoming work, Unraveling the Endless Knot of Deceptions: Afrocentric Reflections on Race, Crime, and Justice in the Construction of Criminological Thought, he combines features of Buddhism and Afrocentric worldviews :  In his journey from North Carolina to Indiana, a place where he has taken root, it is evident that he has influenced the members of his field, as well as his students, the future criminologists.

In 2014, Dr. Pettiway deposited all the research related to the urban lifestyles project to the University Archives. A finding aid is now available; contact the Archives for further information!

The Date, 1946-1947, A Student Publication

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The cover of the April 1947 Moonlight Issue

A male student clutching a jug of alcohol, the bare backsides of young men spreading a page, and the long, lovely legs attached to five beautiful “coeds” competing for the “Miss Legs” title all make up the 1946-1947 publications of what was a new magazine on campus, The Date. First starting out, and without a designated space to write and publish, Don Goins and the rest of The Date staff completed their work on the basement floor hallway of the Science Hall. Knowing what they published, it seems like an appropriate space to gather and gossip about the goings-on around campus. A typical monthly publication would be filled with all things related to student life: pictures of those recently “pinned,” stories of popular (or not-so-popular) professors, tongue-in-cheek cartoons, funny short stories, and advertisements for shops and restaurants around Bloomington.

For those interested in studying campus culture after World War II, this publication would be the perfect starting point. Picking up the magazine today feels like picking up a modern publication (apart from the fashion, of course).  The publication provides an intimate glimpse into the personal lives of students: their love interests, after-hour excursions, and attentiveness to campus events all add to the richness of I.U. history. From a current student’s point of view, the time period becomes more familiar with each magazine I read. I can see myself kissing my date in the Well House at midnight, having a drink at a local bar, and studying in the library with my peers.  There’s a sense of eagerness and excitement that is often associated with the young reflected in the eyes of the young men and women pictured. I wonder what became of these students, if they ever came back to Indiana University after graduation, and what they would think of this generation of college students if they could see them today.  Who knows? But what we do know is that their memories are forever preserved in the pages of The Date and students of today and the future can share their experiences and reflect upon the differences – or similarities – of their own IU experience.

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A Place to Store My Memory in the Archives: The Reflections of an Intern

These days, people collect their memories on all sorts of mediums. With multiple places to share a thought, picture, or a video, memories easily become distorted to serve the purpose of the individual recording them. We’re human, we enjoy a good story…especially one told from our own point of view. When one’s story reaches the archives, however, it is transformed into its original form with the purpose of communicating truth. Placed on a timeline, and given an historical context, it becomes greater and more meaningful than even we could express in first telling it. This fact is something I have encountered multiple times in working with various collections at the I.U. Archives. The collections I worked with were, in a sense, boxed memories. Holding truly significant evidence of a time in an individual’s life, their story was left incomplete until given order and placed within the context of I.U.’s history.

I have had the pleasure of working with three collections of retired professors. Through each of them, I have had the opportunity to peek into their research, teaching styles, and even their personal lives. With them, I have learned many things, but most specifically the value in preserving a variety of backgrounds. Before the age of postmodernism, minority groups were rarely represented in archives across the world. Given this fact, archivists reevaluated their collecting policies, began to question their personal biases, and reached out to those whose stories originally went untold. Being aware of my responsibility to these individuals, I first acquainted myself with them. I would research their lives either within obituaries or even Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. Getting a sense of who they were helped me appraise and organize their collections. After being invested in a professor’s collection for a few weeks, it became hard to let one go and pick up another. However, with each collection I refined my skills and learned something new.

Along with managing collections, I was given a chance to see where archives are needed within an academic community. After the passing of one of I.U.’s esteemed chancellors, Byrum Carter, the President’s Office decided to hold a memorial in his honor. The individuals working on the project turned to the archives requesting access to his collection. My job was to collect a variety of images from his career and share them with other collaborators. I was also expected to provide an outline of his career including his early life, academic life, professional career, and achievements. Carter was a very involved administrator. During a time of enormous political upheaval on college campuses across the nation, his demeanor and management style ensured Indiana University remain devoted to carrying out its mission of education, uninterrupted by the chaos of the world. I was moved by his career and was determined to honor his memory through my work.

My memory of the archives will be preserved in this short post. In the future, it may be categorized, associated with something great or something small, or deleted entirely. In any case, my experience here will be one I will cherish. I have had a chance to experience what it means to be an archivist and work with some of the most helpful, encouraging people in the library. If one day I am fortunate enough to call myself an archivist and mentor a student, I will use the example of my supervisors to help her reach her full potential and follow her dream.

If you would like to a more detailed account of Jessica’s experience in the archives, feel free to visit her website

Alfred Diamant Papers

Together with his wife, Ann Redmon Diamant, he wrote their memoirs, Worlds Apart, Worlds United. This publication tells a heartwarming story of two people falling in love during a time of war.

The Archives are pleased to announce that the Alfred Diamant papers are now processed!

Alfred “Freddy” Diamant was born into a Slovakian Jewish merchant family on September 25, 1917 in Vienna, Austria. He was the only child of Ignatz Diamant and Julia Herzog Diamant. As a child, Diamant dreamed of teaching history but due to the rise of Nazism in Vienna such a dream was forbidden and he instead entered the family textile business and managed a mill in Beška, Yugoslavia. Though he attempted to study business administration, due to the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany (Anschluss) in 1938, Jews were expelled from universities. A year later, he escaped the escalating persecution practices of the Nazis and immigrated to the United States in 1940.

In the U.S., Diamant found work in a textile mill in Massachusetts, but in 1941 he was drafted into the United States military to fight for the cause of the Allies. After volunteering to speed up his service, he started basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky and was later transferred to Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Indiana. There, he met his future wife Ann Redmon. They were married March 18, 1943 at Irvington Methodist Church in Indianapolis. This happy period in his life was cut short when he was selected for Officers Graduate School and transferred to Maryland. There, his commanders learned of his German speaking skills and he was trained as an interrogator of prisoners of war for three months. Before being sent to England in 1944, Diamant became an American citizen.

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, Diamant served as part of the 82nd Airborne Division. His team was dropped eighteen miles off course. He was fortunate to survive, but was captured and taken as a prisoner of war. After attempting to escape, Diamant was shot in the back by his pursuers and survived a potentially fatal shot. He sustained a lumbar fracture from a bullet that remained in his body the rest of his life. He and the other prisoners were rescued in the following days. His wound was enough to send him home where he finally pursued his dream of an academic career studying political science.

Diamant received his A.B. and Master’s in Political Science at Indiana University and later obtained his Ph.D. from Yale in 1957. He taught at the University of Florida (1950-1960), Haverford College (1960-1967), and finally, Indiana University, from which he retired in 1988. At I.U. he served as the Chair of Political Science and the Chair of West European Studies. During his career he earned various awards including the Guggenheim in 1973 and Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship. He is described by his colleagues and students as a tenacious, courteous, and intellectual person who had a keen interest in both his students and colleagues. He was devoted to helping others understand the world they lived in and desired a more just and peaceful world. He had a passion for classical music and fine literature and passed that love of culture to his children Alice and Steve. Towards the end of his life, he suffered from failing vision, but continued to stay informed by book recordings and volunteer readers. Alfred Diamant passed away on May 11, 2012.