CFP: Grabbing Tea: Queer Conversations in Librarianship

This two volume set will be a sampling of conversations of theory and practice as it pertains to LGBTQIA librarianship and archival work and community engagement in a post-Stonewall era. It will situate readers in conversations that invitie our community to join us for the tea: a concept relating to kinship, internal community gossip, gabbing, off-the-cuff, interpersonal relatedness that is akin to ritualized queer exchanges to build on a queer past and identify a current state of queer librarianship and archival work and practice. We argue that as disseminators and centers of cultural knowledge, libraries and archives have an ethical responsibility to integrate our information access with all  communities, especially those that have been historically siloed or marginal.

Volume 1: Grabbing Tea: Queer Conversations in Archiving
Grabbing Tea: Volume 1 will focus on conversations centered around archives and archival theory and practice. Conversations from scholars and practitioners will focus on the Archive as a site for reclamation, narrative storytelling, ancestral recalling, and historical revisioning within LGBTQ communities. These conversations between LGBTQ+ archivists will integrate interpersonal experiences of professionalism as queer folks in the field, as well as dive into our collections and the people and movements that we archive, as well as engage with the implications of race and sexuality in archival practice. Authors invite readers to join their conversations that acknowledge the fluidity of our bodies as queer bodies, and our lives as queer lives inside of the archive.

Volume 2: Grabbing Tea: Queer Conversations in Librarianship
Grabbing Tea: Volume Two will focus on library practice and theory across academic and public libraries. Conversations from library staff and users will focus on identity, community practice and outreach, visibility and coming out or being outed in the library. These conversations between LGBTQ+ library staff (and others) will integrate interpersonal experiences of professionalism as queer folks in the field, as well as dive into their relationships and points of connections with each other and the communities they serve. Authors invite readers to join their conversations that acknowledge the fluidity of our bodies as queer bodies, and our lives as queer lives inside of the library.

We seek LGBTQIA-identified librarians and community members.

Conversations with: library students, mentors/mentees, library directors, graduate school librarians, residents, doctoral students, children’s librarians, school librarians, archivists, liaisons, volunteers, group leaders, artists, writers, filmmakers, cultural producers, podcasters

Conversations representing: public libraries, special libraries, archives, academic libraries, DIY projects, art exhibitions, community centers, and campus groups that interface with libraries and archives.

The call for conversations solicits future hour-long conversation ideas which will be recorded and transcribed over zoom. Submit with a pairing in mind, or we can match you with a conversation partner.

Conversations are encouraged to include details about:

• The Archive and reclamation narratives
• Boundary shifting when working with other queer colleagues
• Centering queerness in librarianship and community
• Dating and queerness in the library
• Historicizing LGBTQ librarians, librarianship, and collectionses of color
• Intersectional considerations of race, class and gender as they interoperate with sexuality
• Issues of harassment, adversity or microaggressions
• Lessons learned from commingling
• Masculinities as a disposition
• Performing Gender in Libraries
• Professionalism and queer identity
• Queer connections with other staff/colleagues/collaborators
• Queer intersections with BIPOC narratives in Libraries
• Queering library leadership
• Re-feminizing the profession
• Risks of pinkwashing or queerbaiting for “diversity” work
• Cultural heritage workers and professionals

Conversations Selection Criteria:

Conversations will be selected based on:
• Appropriateness of fit with the book’s theme
• Clarity of intent
• Story that the conversation will tell as a result of relationship or shared experience
• Likelihood of ability to schedule and record the conversation by deadline

Note on Conversations and how they work:
Conversation proposals should describe potential topics in response to the prompts above or related topics. Editors will schedule a date for selected participants to hold a virtual 60-minute conversation. These conversations will be recorded and technical assistance from editors will be provided. Participants will receive transcripts and recordings and editor feedback to produce a summative article including written reflections of no more than 3000 words total for final submission.

Submit using this form.



Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz, Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning, and Engagement, NYU Division of
Libraries & Visiting Assistant Professor, Pratt School of Information

Sara A. Howard, Librarian for Gender & Sexuality Studies & Student Engagement, Princeton

Projected Timeline:
• June 23, 2020 – Info Session, 12pm. [Register]
• July 24, 2020 – Deadline for conversation proposals
• August 15, 2020 – Accepted proposal notification
• August-October 2020 – Conversations scheduled (Mondays & Wednesdays @ 12pm EST via Zoom)
• January 15, 2021 Edited conversation transcripts returned by editors.
• February 15, 2021 Full Conversation reflections due 1000-1500 words.
• April 2021 Manuscript preparation begins
• July 2021 Projected final manuscript submission to publisher

Acceptance of a proposal does not guarantee inclusion in the final book.

Grabbing Tea call for conversations as PDF.