White Librarianship in Blackface: Oppressive Normativity and Diversity Initiatives in LIS
April Hathcock, New York University
Whiteness, or oppressive normativity—an ideological practice that can extend beyond notions of racial supremacy to other areas of dominance—has permeated every aspect of librarianship, extending even to the initiatives we claim are committed to increasing diversity. This article examines the ways in which whiteness and oppressive normativity control diversity initiatives in LIS in light of the application requirements set upon candidates and suggests ways to correct for oppressive normativity and whiteness in LIS diversity programs.
Intersectionality at the Reference Desk
Rose Love Chou, American University, and Annie Pho, University of Illinois at Chicago
This presentation shares preliminary findings from our research study on the lived experiences of women of color librarians working in public services. We used a feminist interview approach to focus on voices that have traditionally been overlooked and devalued in LIS literature. We will explore intersectionality, microaggressions, and gendered expectations in the workplace.
Embracing the Feminization of Librarianship
Shana Higgins, University of Redlands
This paper reimagines the 'feminine' qualities of librarianship as forms of resistance to neoliberal values, and as the structure that has and will persist through the many iterations of systems, technologies, and economies that currently occupy the public discourse on libraries. Regardless of our sexed and gendered bodies, and of our gender identities, we can reclaim our feminized labor as practicing feminism: collaborative, communal, and politically engaged.
When Worlds Collide
Derrick Jefferson, American University
An exploration of how one’s racial or sexual identity informs how they work with their users in the age of current events. Caitlyn Jenner, Michael Sam, Ferguson, Trayvon Martin, the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality, Baltimore -- How do we, as librarians, talk about these incidents with our users, when librarianship sadly does not reflect these stories? And for those who are POC or LGBT, are we asking too much of them at these intersections?
Personal and Institutional Decolonization Practices-- Exploring Intersections of Indigenous Knowledge Formations and Queer Epistemologies to Disrupt the Scholarly Canon
Reed Garber-Pearson, University of Washington
Engaging in multiple systems of knowing and questioning the status quo in knowledge production is a significant endeavor for LIS professionals. Albeit a liberal field, it is one that continually accedes to power practices that limit representation and access for marginalized populations. Utilizing queer and Indigenous approaches to knowledge formation, this paper is an explicitly personal and political project that discusses practices and implications of individual and institutional decolonization to interrupt complacency in library practices.
"The Subject is Mrs. Burkett Herself": Context and Intersectionality In Moving Image Cataloging
Travis Wagner, University of South Carolina
This presentation will show that catalog records for moving image materials could benefit from acknowledging languages of identity via a subversion of accessed subject headings. It will make specific use of moving image materials as examples that evoke frameworks of intersectionality, critical race theory and gender identity. The larger goal of the presentation aims to interrogate the implications of such an approach for inclusive cataloging practices within moving image archives in their totality.
Supporting Academic Research on Sex and Sexuality Across Cultures and Disciplines
Shirin Eshghi, University of British Columbia
Japanese literary works that feature sexual content have been a major focus of academic scholarship in recent decades.The ability to support this research often proves problematic. Information on sexual material is often missing from the collections and services mandate of source countries. Publications are often hard to identify even when vendors are willing to supply them. Without a tradition of collecting and classifying such material within Japan, we are left to rely on a Western framework of handling and housing the works. This presentation, considers the challenges associated with building and managing erotic collections across languages and disciplines.
Cataloging people : a critical response to the treatment of queer identities in library cataloging standards
Amber Billey and Matthew Haugen, Columbia University
Resources by, for, and about queer people are frequently underrepresented in library collections. Newer descriptive standards and vocabularies seek to improve resource discovery by “cataloging” people—recording contextual biographical and demographic metadata including gender, nationality, occupation, and relationships—along with the resources they create. But queer bodies, experiences, and identities defy such standardization and categorization. Through a critical evaluation of legacy and current practices, the presenters will discuss challenges and solutions for representing queerness in library catalogs.
Nude Descending a Staircase: Sexuality and Delay in Looking at the librarian in Jeff Wall's The Giant
Christine Walde, University of Victoria Libraries
This presentation will critically explore ideas of information, libraries, and sexuality as represented in Jeff Wall's 1992 light box transparency The Giant. Referencing the work of Mary Flanagan, Michael Newman and others, this lightning talk will also examine the concept of delay, as expressed by Marcel Duchamp, as a counterpoint to discussing the eroticism and fetishism of women and information.
Using the Master's Tools? On the Possibility of a Modern Diplomatics of Records of the Women's Movement
Elizabeth Kata, STICHWORT, Archiv der Frauen- und Lesbenwegung
Modern diplomatics has traditionally focused on governmental records, but it also provides tools that can be useful in deciphering the records of modern social movements, such as the autonomous Women's or Lesbian Movement. I would like to present a basic outline of what such a diplomatics could entail, to examine what it can, cannot and should not do. Through critical use, we can learn to better read and understand social movement records.
Visualizing the Invisible: Finding the Gaps in Discussion of Identities in LIS
Amy Lau, Dinah Handel, and Sarah Hackney, Pratt Institute
This project presents a statistical analysis of library and information science (LIS) literature. The project explores whether and how the LIS literature engages in discussions of intersectional identity categories such as race, gender, and sexuality. Using critical approaches to LIS, we explore the ramifications of silence and absence within LIS literature through the lenses of feminist theory, critical theory, and queer theory.
Makerspace Meets Medicine: Politics, Gender, and Embodiment in Critical Information Practice
James Cheng, Lauren Di Monte, and Madison Sullivan, North Carolina State University
Academic libraries are developing makerspaces to broaden access to digital and physical fabrication, and to further their technological and informational literacy programs. Novel research emerging from makerspaces include projects loosely described as “DIY medicine.” This lightning talk will examine initiatives within DIY medicine that highlight the potential for makerspaces to center gender, identity, and expression, and help organizations create more inclusive and welcoming spaces.
Mourning and Melancholia in Archives
Stacy Wood, University of California, Los Angeles
Archives are sites of management of death and dying by the state, implicated in what Mbembe calls necropolitics. Bureaucratic documents concerning death find their radical corollaries in intimate forms, a woman's ashes spilling out of a poorly sealed ziplock bag. This paper seeks to recast the association of the archive with the death drive through an exploration of Freud's “Mourning and Melancholia,” understanding one function of the archives as embodied melancholia, a persistent longing.
Discourses of Knowledge and Ignorance in the Gendered and Racialized Information Worlds of Young Mothers
Devon Greyson, UBC Child & Family Research Institute
Young parents in contemporary Western societies live within a socio-political climate that casts them as problematic and information needy. This grounded theory study of young mothers in British Columbia explored the gendered and racialized information worlds that discursively construct the “teen mom” as paradoxically knowledgeable (in matters of sexuality and technology) and ignorant (in matters of parenting and health) in ways that are influenced by ethnicity and social class markers.
Blood, Sweat, and Hair: The Archival Potential of Queer and Trans Bodies
Marika Cifor, UCLA
The absence of bodies from archives and the range of things they collect is predictable. Yet, the present fragments, traces, and discards of queer and trans bodies enable a counter-narrative that challenges the notion that the body can only be seen in its necessary absence. In three acts—blood, sweat, and hair—I explore how archives can value bodies and embodied experiences by embracing their traces, making visible what is absent, and giving them due consideration.
History in the Making: How Archives and Activists Can Work Together
Jen LaBarbera, Lambda Archives of San Diego
Archival collections have the potential to play a significant role in current social justice movements. By working directly with social justice movement leaders, archivists offer historical context and inspiration for these leaders’ current & future activism. Drawing on previous research, queer & feminist theories, interviews, and preliminary results from current projects that create working partnerships with feminist and LGBTQ activists, this presentation is a snapshot of an ongoing study looking at practical applications of this concept.
Representation, Symbolic Annihilation, and the Emotional Potentials of Community Archives
Michelle Caswell, Alda Allina Migoni, and Noah Geraci, University of California, Los Angeles
Based on more than a dozen interviews with practitioners at several independent community archives in Southern California, this research explores how members of LGBTQ communities and communities of color have affectively responded to being symbolically annihilated by mainstream repositories. In contrast, we found that independent, identity-based community archives empower minoritized communities to enact their presence in ways that are complex, meaningful, substantive, and positive, producing feelings of what we term "representational belonging."
The Transgender Archives at the University of Victoria: the first five years
Lara Wilson, University of Victoria
The Transgender Archives at the University of Victoria was formally launched in 2011 following two large donations of archival and rare print materials. This presentation introduces some of the challenges we have encountered in building this significant collection: balancing access and protection of privacy; balancing digitization with privacy protection and copyright; cataloguing and archival description; collection building and archival selection; engaging trans* communities and allies; conference planning and outreach activities; and engaging non-academic audiences.