Performing the Accidental Archive has two confirmed speakers: Ann Cvetkovich and Shannon Jackson (click images for bios)
Accidental Encounters as Archival Practice and Queer Affective Method
The talk draws from my book in progress, which chronicles the recent proliferation of LGBTQ archives as a point of departure for a broader inquiry into the power of archives to transform public histories. The push for LGBTQ state recognition, civil rights, and cultural visibility has been accompanied by a desire for the archive – a claim that the recording and preservation of LGBTQ history is an epistemic right. Yet new LGBTQ archival projects must also respond to historical and theoretical critiques, including decolonizing ones, that represent archives as forms of epistemological domination and surveillance or as guided by an impossible desire for stable knowledge. I address these tensions through case histories of actual archives, as well as projects by artists whose creative and queer approaches to the archives are simultaneously critical and transformative.
Today’s talk will focus in particular on my experiences working with collections from the June Mazer Lesbian Archives, which have recently been transferred to UCLA’s Special Collections, and the Human Sexuality Collection at Cornell University. In response to the conference theme, I will consider how attention to accidental encounters and affective responses can constitute a queer archival practice.
in partnership with the Images Festival
Abstract, on its way!