Performing the Accidental Archive has two confirmed speakers: Ann Cvetkovich and Shannon Jackson (click images for bios)

Opening Keynote: Ann Cvetkovich (April 17th)9807136_orig

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.


Closing Keynote: Shannon Jackson (April 18th)shannon_headshot_2010

in partnership with the Images Festival 

Curating People: Drama’s Archive as a Time-based Art

This lecture considers contemporary experiments in performance curating in museums, galleries, and biennials. While much of this activity might fall under the capacious category of performance art, many projects seek to curate the choreographic and theatrical work of the performing arts.  How do we understand these experiments across art forms?  What new competencies do they require of artists, curators, audience members, and institutions?  Shannon Jackson focuses on selected examples to consider issues of skill, concept, history, and literacy as artists and audience members move across art contexts.