Guest editors: Gesa Kirsch, Caitlin Burns, and Dakoda P. Smith, University of Louisville
This special issue of Across the Disciplines invites scholars to explore what it means to unsettle archival research across the disciplines. Efforts have long been underway to decolonize archival work and archival holdings, to repatriate artifacts, to change derogatory terms in finding aids, to consult with community members about appropriate protection of sacred artifacts, and to heal and reconcile in the wake of wounded/wounding histories (Till; Brasher et al.). Much work has attended to unsettling and wrestling with archives. From one perspective, settler archives are a storehouse for the West’s fictions and myths and a premier site of production for colonial difference, demanding a recovery of absences and silences (García). Yet, despite these important interventions, institutional archives with colonial roots continue to grow, collecting artifacts outside of the communities to which they belong; university archives continue to occupy Native American lands; and governments and corporations surveil our behavior and organize our personal data into digital archives, often with harmful consequences. Such institutions often remain wound(ed/ing) spaces and places.
This special issue of ATD welcomes both critiques of archiving as a set of institutional practices, ideologies, and conventions, and new tactics of critical, communal, and digital archiving within and against those systems of power. We invite scholars to highlight critical, communal, and digital approaches to archival work, to consider how radical political approaches might support them, to reflect on how to counteract and resist racist, colonial histories, and to explore alternatives, perhaps through decolonial, engaged, reciprocal, or collaborative archival practices. We encourage scholars to consider multimodal and digital technologies (Enoch & Bessette), Indigenous methodologies (Cushman, Powell, Tuhiwai Smith, Wilson), decolonial theories (García & Baca; Ruiz & Sánchez), feminist approaches (Enoch, Gaillet, Ramírez, Royster and Kirsch), antiracist efforts (Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia), queer and trans practices (Bessette, Rawson), disability studies (Brilmyer, Dolmage, McRuer, White), and other perspectives for reconsidering archival research.
Critical, communal, and digital archives often respond to a political moment, to social and cultural conditions, and to the needs of a community by reclaiming and/or retooling certain archival practices, sometimes rewriting archival conventions altogether. For example, marginalized communities and groups do not collect for the sake of collection. They often collect with the survival of their future generations in mind and to pass down their histories. This special issue invites contributions that shed light on how tactical archival practices can decenter, reshape, unsettle and rewrite traditional archival methodologies.
We invite scholars from across the disciplines, including the arts, humanities and social sciences, to submit a contribution in any of the following formats:
Contributors to this special issue may wish to consider the following questions:
All references in this CFP are available upon request.
Proposals due: April 15, 2020
Notification of Acceptance: May 15, 2020
Manuscripts Due: August 1, 2020
Editorial Feedback: October 1, 2020
Final Manuscripts Due: January 1, 2021
Publication: Spring 2021
Proposal Format: Please submit a 500-word proposal explaining your topic, the research and theoretical base on which you will draw, and your plans for the structure of your article, following the general guidelines for ATD at http://wac.colostate.edu/atd/submissions.cfm. Send your proposal electronically (in MS Word format) to Gesa Kirsch at firstname.lastname@example.org and also to ATD editor Michael Cripps at email@example.com. Please provide full contact information with your submission.