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Thursday, May 12 • 4:25pm - 4:30pm
Fugitive Archiving: Ephemera and Community Expressions

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Archival tradition is based on colonial power dynamics that surround exclusive histories with “negative space,” leaving those whose histories are excluded to perform their own archival scenarios using ephemeral materials and expressions. Community is a theme connecting many histories constructed in these dynamic ways because communities are entities of action with fluid boundaries, making their histories ill-suited for traditional archiving. In this dissertation work I recognize communities’ dynamic expressions as history construction and study ephemera as residues of these expressions, because community histories warrant archival inclusion and because such inclusion supports the archival profession’s relevance in increasingly dynamic information landscapes. My work here is grounded in archival scholarship by Bastian (2003) around “communities of records” that has ignited new interest in communities’ embodied expressions, albeit with questions remaining around how we can include embodied expressions in archival practice. I use communities of records as a starting point, and propose the study of ephemera – reenvisioned through the lens of performance studies - is one method of archiving around communities. Through this reenvisioning lens I study one case of dynamic history construction around a community event: The All Souls Procession of Tucson, Arizona, a massive grassroots parade in honor of the dead now in its 25th year. I conduct qualitative analysis of ephemeral history construction in this community event, from which I draw themes and strategies for evoking commemoration in community settings. Through this study of dynamic history construction, I hope to offer archival science a new conceptualization of ephemera as an archival directive, to include embodied expressions in archival practice, build more inclusive histories, and help archivists form more vital relationships with dynamic communities and disciplines.
Bastian, J. A. (2003). Owning memory: how a Caribbean community lost its archives and found its history (No. 99). Libraries Unlimited.


Thursday May 12, 2016 4:25pm - 4:30pm MST
COOR L1-84 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281
  Archives and Collections, Long Paper
  • Session Location COOR L1-84