Friday, September 7, 2012

FREE Symposium: Archives & Activism

New York Archives Week 2012 Symposium: Archives & Activism Co-sponsored by the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, Inc. and the New School Libraries and Archives Friday, October 12, 2012 Theresa Lang Community and Student Center Arnhold Hall The New School 55 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 8:30am to 6:00pm Register at Archives and Activism If archivism was indeed ever exclusively ideologically neutral in its approach to managing historical materials, many archivists have come to see said objectivity as illusory at best. Principal amongst the reasons for this shift in perspective within the archives community is a growing awareness that its custodianship of cultural materials can never be enacted in a manner wholly divorced from interpretation, advocacy, and the ever-present demands of the socially or economically powerful institutions that fund and administer archives. Despite the extent to which this emergent awareness has affected how archivists approach their responsibilities, there remains a mistrust of the archival world by those most committed to the dismantling of hegemonic structures, particularly amongst activists, on the grounds that traditional institutional frameworks often fail to provide adequate transparency, accountability or sensitivity to the needs of marginalized individuals, communities, and movements. How far can, and should, archivists go in responding to the concerns of the movements they are attempting to document? Should they be rethinking, even overhauling, traditional archival practice? This symposium addresses a range of issues attendant upon archives' evolving relationships with activism and social justice. Among these concerns are: ownership, trust, and exclusion; self-documentation by activist communities and participatory archives; and collaborations between activists, archivists, and researchers using emerging technologies. Presenters representing a variety of institutions, initiatives, and activist communities will explore theoretical concerns as well as practice-based approaches to documenting social activism. This symposium is dedicated to the memory of archivist and historian Michael Nash (1946-2012). The preliminary schedule for the symposium is now available at Registration, while required, is free thanks to the generous support of Archives Week by MetLife and the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation. Please contact if you have questions about this symposium. -- Carrie Hintz Head of Archives Processing Rare Book& Manuscript Library Butler Library, 6th Floor Columbia University, Mail Code 1127 535 W. 114th St. New York, NY 10027 212-854-8483