Past Events

Urgent Archives: Enacting Liberatory Memory Work

Webinar led by Dr. Michelle Caswell

September 15, 2021

Dr. Caswell is one of the most compelling voices in archival theory today. Her talk is grounded in the emerging field of critical archivalstudies and based on more than a decade of ethnographic work building community archives sites. She contends that traditional archival practices at major university and institutional repositories are designed to marginalize and oppress minoritized communities. Dr. Caswell advocates for alternative methods and practices that members of such communities can use to create independent archives that build ties within communities and disrupt historic cycles of oppression. Archives are not and cannot be neutral, Dr. Caswell argues. Instead of trying to make them so, we should focus on making archives catalysts of liberation in the present.

This webinar presentation is sponsored by the Roberson Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation at the University of the South, in partnership with faculty, archive, and curator colleagues at five CIC institutions: Centre College, Fisk University, Rollins College, University of Richmond, and Washington and Lee University.