All posts tagged: Archives

Introduction / Issue 31: Black Studies Now and the Countercurrents of Hazel Carby

Jump to Table of Contents by Joel Burges, Alisa V. Prince, and Jeffrey Allen Tucker Featured image: Ellen Gallagher, Bird in Hand, 2006. © Ellen Gallagher. Image © Tate. She was dismayed when she realized that what she wanted to imagine, what she was struggling to bring into being, now seemed beyond her reach. Was it improbable or impossible? What could she dream in a present of imminent environmental catastrophe? How could she sculpt the contours of a future when the future, any future, had been foreclosed?—Hazel V. Carby, “Black Futurities: Shape-Shifting beyond the Limits of the Human”1 In winter 2019, when Hazel V. Carby came to the University of Rochester (UR) as the Distinguished Visiting Humanist, no one knew global pandemic and large-scale anti-racist protests awaited us one year later in the spring, summer, and now fall of 2020.2 We did not anticipate the rise of an anti-immigrant visa crisis in higher education as we began to write this introductory essay, or the revelation of the death of Daniel Prude as we were finalizing …

Archival-Futurism: Archives as Social Justice

By Miranda Mims Featured image: Inscriptions at MLK Park community installation “The Empire Strikes Black,” created by public artist Shawn Dunwoody. Photo by Quajay Donnell. There should be a space for alternative realities, alternative ways of knowing, in the archive. There should be room for imagining a world in which justice not injustice triumphed. —Hazel V. Carby, “The National Archives”1 As an archivist, reading Hazel Carby’s “The National Archives” is a reminder to me of the precedent on which archives were built, and the continual work we in the profession have towards transforming archival practices to reflect a social justice framework. Archives are spaces of truth and understanding as much as they are about secrecy and erasure. That which has been documented and preserved within a repository is so often duplicitous. Although archival practices have evolved, becoming more inclusive, the history of privileging the elite or powerful is still deeply entrenched in societal forms of racial and economic inequity and cultural hegemony. Archives are typically a reflection of the society in which they exist. Careful …