Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Bronx Community College
Website URL
community-based oral history and archiving, communication of memory, archives, libraries, museums, socially-engaged art, public art, oral history, public history and memory, monuments, monument culture, protest movements, social movements, civil rights movement, student activism, activism, anti-racism, gender, higher education, social arts activism in Ecuador and Colombia, access and equity in higher education, gentrification, housing justice, teaching and learning, metadata, digital humanities.
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Cynthia Tobar is an artist, activist-scholar, archivist and oral historian who is passionate about creating interactive, participatory stories documenting social change.

Cynthia is an accomplished facilitator who brings together scholars, technologists, and artists to engage as a team to create compelling public history digital projects, humanities teaching and learning prototypes, socially-engaged art programming, and community-based archiving and storytelling projects. Cynthia has conceptualized and worked on a number of captivating public history digital exhibits, socially-engaged art projects, and community-based archives that document social movements and student activism. She has presented and published on several community-based oral history projects that have focused on social justice, student activism, and socially engaged art practices.

Cynthia has an M.A. in Politics from The New School, an M.L.S. and Archives Management Certificate from Pratt Institute and a B.A. in English (Writing Concentration) from Hunter College. She is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in the Higher and Postsecondary program at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Cynthia’s current research interests are centered on applying oral history methodology to understand issues of equity, inclusion, diversity and anti-racism in higher education. Her multimedia & storytelling work has been shown in solo and group exhibits throughout New York City. Cynthia is an Associate Professor and Head of Archives at Bronx Community College, where she creates captivating public programming to increase creative engagement, education, and learning opportunities as well as develops community-based archiving and storytelling projects. She is also a visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute, where she teaches courses on social justice in Colombia and arts-activism.

You can learn more about Cynthia’s current projects at

Recent Publications


Tobar, C. (2021) Create, Transform, and Connect: Fostering Arts-based Community Partnership at Bronx Community College’s Archives. In Porterfield, J. (Ed). Teaching with Primary Sources Cookbook. Chicago: ACRL Publications. Forthcoming.

Tobar, C. (2020) Reclaiming the Hall-Amplifying Community Voices at the Hall of Fame. In Weida, C.L., Adeniji-Neill, D. & Cambronero Varela, C. (Eds), Illuminations of Social Imagination: Learning From Maxine Greene. New York: Dio Press.

Tobar, C. (2014) Capturing Dissident Voices: Grassroots Organizing and Working-Class Feminist Activism at Welfare Rights Initiative. In Morrone, M. (Ed), Informed Agitation: Library and Information Skills in Social Justice Movements and Beyond (An Edited Collection). Duluth: Library Juice Press.


Tobar, C. (2019) “Inclusive Archiving, Public Art, and Representation at the Hall of Fame for Great Americans.” The Gotham Center for New York City History Blog. July 18, 2019.

Tobar, C. (2019) “«Debemos abogar por sistemas de respuesta más rápidos»: Cynthia Tobar, de Archivistas en Espanglish, entrevista a Hilda Ayala, bibliotecaria en la Universidad de Puerto Rico.” Archivoz, Feb. 2019.

Tobar, C. (2016) “Draw the Line.” The New Inquiry. 49, Feb. 2016. 20-23.


Perez-Hazel, Y, Tobar, C., Loose, S., Gallagher, E., Kelly, A., Snider, S. (2016) “Storycircles: Case Studies on Motives, Methods, and Takeaways from Group Interviews.” In Context Journal. 1 (1).

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States, Ecuador, Colombia
Expertise by Geography
Latin America, United States
Expertise by Chronology
20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Higher Ed, Libraries & Archives, Local & Regional, Material Culture, Museums, Pedagogy, Politics, Public History, Race, Urban History, Women