On 25 May 2021 at 12 noon Eastern (4:00pm UTC), Dr. Michelle Caswell (Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles), will read from her forthcoming book, Urgent Archives: Enacting Liberatory Memory Work, published by Routledge.
Urgent Archives argues that archivists can and should do more to disrupt white supremacy and hetero-patriarchy beyond the standard liberal archival solutions of more diverse collecting and more inclusive description.
Grounded in the emerging field of critical archival studies, this book uncovers how dominant western archival theories and practices are oppressive by design, while looking toward the radical politics of community archives to envision new liberatory theories and practices. Based on more than a decade of ethnography at community archives sites including SAADA, the book explores how members of minoritized communities activate records to build solidarities across and within communities, trouble linear progress narratives, and disrupt cycles of oppression. The book explores the temporal, representational, and material aspects of liberatory memory work, arguing that archival disruptions in time and space should be neither about the past nor the future, but about the liberatory affects and effects of memory work in the present.
Digital humanities library professionals may consider attending Dr. Caswell’s talk as part of considering the role of archival justice and historical recovery in digital projects and humanities data. Registration is required.