The image of the dusty, undisturbed archive has been swept away in response to growing interest across disciplines in the materials they house and the desire to find and make meaning through an engagement with those materials. Archival studies scholars and archivists are developing related theoretical frameworks and practices that recognize that the archives are anything but static. Archival deposits are proliferating, and the architects, practitioners, and scholars engaged with them are scarcely able to keep abreast of them. Archives, archival theory, and archival practice are on the move.
But what of the archives that were once safely housed and have since been lost, or are under threat? What of the urgency that underscores the appeals made on behalf of these archives? As scholars in this volume argue, archives—their materialization, their preservation, and the research produced about them—are moving in a different way: they are involved in an emotionally engaged and charged process, one that acts equally upon archival subjects and those engaged with them. So too do archives at once represent members of various communities and the fields of study drawn to them.
Moving Archives grounds itself in the critical trajectory related to what Sara Ahmed calls “affective economies” to offer fresh insights about the process of archiving and approaching literary materials. These economies are not necessarily determined by ethical impulses, although many scholars have called out for such impulses to underwrite current archival practices; rather, they form the crucial affective contexts for the legitimization of archival caches in the present moment and for future use.
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About the Author
Linda M. Morra is a settler scholar and Full Professor at Bishop’s University, and a former Craig Dobbin Chair (2016–2017). Her book Unarrested Archives, was a finalist for the Gabrielle Roy Prize in 2015. She prepared Jane Rule’s posthumously published memoir, Taking My Life, which was a Lambda Literary Award finalist in 2011.
Table of Contents
Introduction Moving Archives: The Affective Economies and Potentialities of Literary Archival Materials / Linda M. Morra, Bishop’s University
Chapter One Archive Transfer / Archival Transformation: The Intervening Space Between / Patricia Godbout and Marc André Fortin, Université de Sherbrooke
Chapter Two Don’t you know that digitization is not enough? Digitization is not enough! Building Accountable Archives and the Digital Dilemma of the Cabaret Commons / T.L. Cowan, University of Toronto
Chapter Three Myles na gCopaleen’s 'An Scian': A Knife in the Back of Irish Archivists / Joseph LaBine, University of Ottawa
Chapter Four Inside the Cover, Outside the Archive: The Dispersal, Loss, and Value of Jane Rule’s Personal Library / Linda M. Morra, Bishop’s University
Chapter Five “The fearful state of things”: Technologies of Transparency in the Annual Report of the Canada Sunday School Union, 1836-1876 / Erin Kean, University of Ottawa
Chapter Six Listening to the Archives of Phyllis Webb / Katherine McLeod, Concordia University
Chapter Seven Fresh-Water Archives: Reading Water in Troy Burle Bailey’s The Pierre Bonga Loops / Karina Vernon, University of Toronto
Chapter Eight Letting Grief Move Me: Thinking Through the Affective Dimensions of Personal Recordkeeping / Jennifer Douglas, University of British Columbia
Chapter Nine Reading for Queer Openings: Moving. Archives of the Self. Fred Wah. / Susan Rudy, Queen Mary University of London