The Black Scholar – CFP on Black Archival Practice

The Black Scholar Journal: Call for papers on Black Archival Practice – Deadline May 1, 2021!

Archivists and other archives workers are not attuned to how Black life is lived. As a result of this disregard for the lived experiences of Black people, the discourses of everyday Black memory work are neither legible nor affirmed as archival practice. In the field of archival studies there are specific ways that blackness colors memory work and documentary practices. Family collecting is coded as hoarding. Refusing fixed memorials is not read as a legitimate form of preservation. Dominant modes of archiving and archival research are resistant to the dispersion of Black material culture, allowing Black lives to be deemed disordered and illegible. Black archivists who labor to render Black lives and Black culture visible in brick-and-mortar archives are often positioned as nameless subjects in the historical record and the archival studies canon. This themed issue imagines the possibilities for naming another archive, another mode through which we might view Black lived experiences and Black archival lives and understand how Black lives have been “lived in spaces of impossibility” (Omowale 2018).

The theme explores how the social meaning-past, present, and future-of Black archival practices get imagined, contested, and negotiated within traditional archival spaces and in spaces intentionally coded as Black. To date, these spaces have too often been seen as mutually exclusive. … More here.

Organized around 10 broad themes, this issue centers Black archives, archivists, and archival practices and engages with the following ideas:

  • Care – care in and as archival practice, stewardship as care
  • Celebration – celebrations of Black life in and as archival practice
  • Crisis – documenting in the midst of two global Black health crises
  • Embodiment – embodied/living archives, human sites of archival memory, killing embodied archives
  • Forgetting – disremembering, the right to forget, the right to be forgotten
  • Home – home archives, family, displacement of home
  • Labor – the work of Black archivists / archival scholars / stewards / historians
  • Legibility – reading an archive, unconventional archives/materials (eg. seed archives, soil archives)
  • Refusal – refusal of documentation, donation to institutions, exceeding the archive, fugivitity
  • Repair – (re)membering, putting things/people back together through archival theory/practice, Black archival practice as reparative and/or restorative

Guest editors

Zakiya Collier: zakiyacollier@nypl.org

Tonia Sutherland: tsuther@hawaii.edu

Full Submissions are due by May 1, 2021 and must be submitted via TBS‘s landing page on Taylor & Francis’s website. Submissions must be between 4,000-5,000 words maximum, inclusive of endnotes and images (see guidelines). Black Archival Practices will be published as our Summer 2022 issue.

To avoid your article being sent back or rejected, review all guidelines before submitting.

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