Feminism and Archives: Precarity/Affect/Eros

Friday, February 20, 2015 - 12:00am

We are seeking panelists and a moderator for a panel on Feminism and Archives. The panel will be submitted for presentation at NWSA’s 2015 annual conference. Deadline for submission: February 20, 2015.

How do institutional and grassroots archives intersect with genealogies, past and present, of feminism? In her recent book The Archival Turn in Feminism, Kate Eichhorn argues that engagement with feminism’s archive allows us to “[be] in time and history differently,” a position which is “integral to fostering not only new forms of political alliances, including those that appear to defy temporal constraints, but also new narratives about feminist history and feminist futures” (54).

It is precisely this conviction that leads us to thinking about our contemporary engagements with the archive—as scholars, writers, librarians, and archivists. Rather than simply a site for recovery, the archive has been and continues to be for feminists a site of knowledge production and of reconstitution—one that is bound up with histories of affect and eros. Feminist archives, however, are inevitably precarious sites, whether through financial or institutional precarity, or in terms of the precarity of the materials preserved—particularly as feminist archives and archivists challenge notions of what is worth preserving and how it should be preserved.

The papers within this proposed panel might address:

  • contemporary engagements with archival material,
  • theorizations of the affect and/or eros of archives and the archival experience, archiving practices
  • the development of archival collections, and/or
  • the role of the archive for contemporary feminisms and women’s studies.

Presenters should develop their ideas under the subtheme “Affect/Eros.”

Please submit paper title and abstract (50-100 words each) which relate your proposal to the sub-theme Affect/Eros; your name and a brief biography; and contact information; to Meredith Benjamin (mbenjamin@gradcenter.cuny.edu) and Margaret Galvan (mgalvan@gradcenter.cuny.edu). Deadline for submission: February 20, 2015.

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