Archives Colloquium 2021

Archival Imaginaries

This year’s Center for Humanities and Information (CHI) archives colloquium is co-designed and facilitated with Caitlin Rizzo, Head of Collection Services and Archivist at Penn State’s Eberly Family Special Collections Library. Engaging with interdisciplinary conversations from across both archival studies and the humanities, the colloquium will explore the liberatory potential of the archival imaginary. At a time when scholars have embraced the idea of “the archive” as a historically conjured construct, as opposed to a representational reality, how can we reimagine the archive as a tool for social justice and accountability? How can we interact imaginatively with existing collections, imagine alternative records of the past, and envision new ways to engage in archival labor and study archival imaginaries for the future?

All meetings will be held on Fridays, from 1-2:15 PM, via Zoom.

Alongside the monthly reading group, we also will host a symposium with outside speakers, including many of the thinkers below,* on April 2, 10-4 EST, also via Zoom.

2/5: Theorizing ‘The Archive,’ Conceiving of an Imagined ‘Archives’ 

Caswell, Michelle. “‘The Archive’ Is Not An Archives: Acknowledging the Intellectual Contributions of Archival Studies.” reconstruction: studies in contemporary culture, vol. 16, no. 1, 2016. 

Gilliland, Anne J., and Michelle Caswell. “Records and Their Imaginaries: Imagining the Impossible, Make the Possible Imagined.” Archival Science, vol. 16, 2016, pp. 53–75. 

Hartman, Saidiya. “Venus in Two Acts.” Small Axe: A Journal of Caribbean Criticism, vol. 16, no. 2, 2008, pp. 1–14. 

—. “A Note on Method.” Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social UpheavalNorton, 2019, pp. xiii-xv. 

3/5: ‘The Archive’ as a Disciplinary Technology 

*Arondekar, Anjali. “In the Absence of Reliable Ghosts: Sexuality, Historiography, South Asia.” differences, vol. 25, no. 3, 2015, pp. 98–122.

Martínez, María Elena. “Archives, Bodies, and Imagination: The Case of Juana Aguilar and Queer Approaches to History, Sexuality, and Politics.” Radical History Review, vol. 120, 2014, pp. 159–182. 

*Sutherland, Tonia. “The Carceral Archive: Documentary Records, Narrative Construction, and Predictive Risk Assessment.” Journal of Cultural Analytics, vol. 1, no. 1, 2019. 

3/19:  Resistance from Outside ‘the Archive’  

Chen, Mel Y. “Everywhere Archives: Transgendering, Trans Asians, and the Internet.” Australian Feminist Studies, vol. 25, no. 64, 2010, pp. 199–208.  

*Hawkins, Ames. These Are Love(d) LettersWayne State University Press, 2019, pp. 1–78. 

*Holmes, Kwame. “What’s the Tea: Gossip and the Production of Black Gay Social History.” Radical History Review, vol. 2015, no. 122, 2015, pp. 55–69.  

4/2: Archival Imaginaries Symposium

4/16: Everywhere Archives, or Conceiving an Archives of Our Own 

*Berry, Dorothy. “Hide and Seek: Organizing Hidden Collections for Umbra Search African American History.” Acid Free, 2017.  

*Ramírez, Cristina D. “Rhetorical Herencia: Writing Toward a Theory of Rhetorical Recovery and Transformation.” Latinx Writing and Rhetoric Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, 2020, pp. 161–178. 

*Sheffield, Rebecka Taves. “Archival Optimism, or, How to Sustain a Community Archives.” Community Archives, Community Spaces: Heritage, Memory, and Identity, edited by Jeannette A. Bastian and Andrew Flinn, Facet Publishing, UK, 2018, pp. 3-20. 

*Solis, Gabriel Daniel. “Documenting State Violence: (Symbolic) Annihilation & Archives of Survival.” KULA: knowledge creation, dissemination, and preservation studies, vol. 2, no. 1, 2018.