Jamie A. Lee
Kairotic and Kin-centric Archives: Addressing Abundances and Abandonments
Abstract: In this presentation, Jamie A. Lee traverses the persistent memories and memory-making practices of their local queer borderlands communities through frameworks of the kairotic and kin-centric. Sharing stories from two distinct community-based digital archiving projects, Lee attends to loss and to re-collection and explicitly addresses both abundances and abandonments. This presentation considers space and time and, especially, context(s) when archives and the communities they represent come together to ‘mind the gaps’ in the archives. Using first-hand archival experiences, Lee engages myriad ways of preserving and maintaining memory through enduring, what they call endearing, and ephemeral practices. Building on their understanding of the archival body, Lee shares their timely and relational archival approach to develop and, also, to reveal the practices, pedagogies, and possibilities of working in, with, and for non-dominant communities in the maintenance of their memories as bodies of knowledge, experiences, affects, and relations.
Jamie A. Lee (they/she), Associate Professor Digital Culture, Information, and Society at the School of Information, University of Arizona, is a scholar, activist, filmmaker, archivist, oral historian, partner, co-parent, neighbor, and friend. They founded and direct the Arizona Queer Archives (www.arizonaqueerarchives.com) where they train community members on facilitating oral history interviews and building collections in and with their own families and communities. With storytelling at the heart of their life’s work, Lee also directs the Digital Storytelling & Oral History Lab and co-founded the Critical Archives and Curation Collaborative, the co/lab, through which they collaborate on such storytelling projects as secrets of the agave: a Climate Justice Storytelling Project
(www.secretsoftheagave.com), the Climate Alliance Mapping Project, CAMP (www.climatealliancemap.org), and the Stories of Arizona’s Tribal Libraries Oral History Project (with Dr. Sandy Littletree and Knowledge River). Lee’s 2021 research monograph, Producing the Archival Body, engages storytelling to re-consider how archives are defined, understood, deployed, and accessed to produce subjects. Arguing that archives and bodies are mutually constitutive and developing a keen focus on the body and embodiment alongside archival theory, Lee introduces new understandings of archival bodies that interrogate how power circulates in archival contexts in order to build critical understandings of how deeply archives shape the production of knowledges and human subjectivities. For more on Lee’s projects, visit www.thestorytellinglab.io.
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