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1. Lincoln Cushing - January 12, 2010

This just in, fits well with the subject of this group:

SOUTHERN LABOR STUDIES CONFERENCE
Atlanta, Georgia, April 7-10, 2011

Co-Sponsored by the Southern Labor Archives, Georgia State University Library; Southern Labor Studies Association; Labor and Working Class History Association

MEMORY AND FORGETTING: LABOR HISTORY AND THE ARCHIVE

“The struggle against tyranny is the struggle of memory against
forgetting” From “The Uprising of `34”, courtesy of Milan
Kundera

Keynote addresses will be given by Robert Korstad, Duke University and Alessandro Portelli, University of Rome.

Students of colonial and post-colonial societies have thought about how the very materials historians rely on to reconstruct the past-“the
archive”-themselves are constituted by that past, rather than a
transparent window onto it.

To coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Southern Labor Archives at GSU, the 15th Southern Labor Studies Conference proposes to turn a similar self-critical gaze on the materials labor historians rely on to produce the field of “labor history.” How does the very process of locating, constructing, and organizing the “archive” of labor and
working class history shape (and constrain) the very meaning of what
historians and archivists treat as labor, the worker, or the working
class? How have shifting archival fashions changed our understanding of labor’s history? How has the “archive”, in the broadest sense, abetted or impeded the “struggle of memory against forgetting.”

In asking these questions, the Conference Committee invites proposals that consider the “archive” in the widest terms possible. Thus we envision proposals that look at actual archival practice in libraries, museums, state governments, universities, businesses, unions, and other institutions that play an important role in documenting-and thus filtering-labor’s past, especially the past of the working class in the U.S. South. Other proposals might examine how labor historians have used particular methodologies to construct their own “archive”-most obviously through the practice of oral history, but also social activism, filmmaking, collecting, public history, memorialization, or other forms of historical practice and engagement. A third genre of proposals could look at what Antoinette Burton has called “archive stories”, experiential descriptions of archival encounters that have illuminated (or obscured) certain aspects of the working class past.
Still others may want to explore the role of the archive itself in the
process of memory and forgetting-how has archivalization of the past fixed certain aspects of labor history in memory, while consigning others to the realm of forgetting? Finally, we invite proposals that consider how archival work of all sorts can be linked to particular moments of working class struggle.

These questions remain especially pressing in a time, region, and
country that seem intent on denying the very existence of a “working
class”, both because narratives of American exceptionalism continue to insist on the absence of class relations in the nation’s past, and
because recent economic transformations threaten to obliterate the
material bases of work and the working class altogether.

In addition to papers and panels addressing the above themes, the SLSC also invites proposals that examine the history of the southern working class more generally.

The Committee urges submissions of complete panels, including 2-3
papers and a commentator. We also invite roundtables, collective
discussions of teaching, audio or visual presentations, and any other
less orthodox formats. Proposals should include 300-word abstracts for each paper and a one-page c.v. for all participants.

Please submit proposals by October 1, 2010, to:

alichtens@gmail.com and
tdrummond@gsu.edu

2. Lincoln Cushing - January 12, 2010

My eclectic professional career has bridged both libraries and archives, and there are several excellent resources from the library world that mesh with this book. (There’s no bibliography in Archives Power?!). One recent title is _Questioning Library Neutrality: Essays from Progressive Librarian_, by Alison M. Lewis, linked here.

3. Lincoln Cushing - January 12, 2010

As a cataloger of political visual materials, I have to point out the cover art similarity between _Archives Power_ and the Library Juice title above – both draw on the rich iconography of the clenched fist, which I examined in this essay linked here.

4. Lincoln Cushing - January 12, 2010

When readers hit Chapter 2, they might want to read some of the documents that came out of ACT/Archivists for Change in 1971 (page 110). There is a poorly done version linked here as a PDF (obviously scanned text, not cleaned up, so slightly garbled) but better than nothing..

These are a good example of a major problem in “oppositional history” – if we don’t scan/clean up/post ourselves, no one else will. Does anyone have the actual documents?

5. Alison Stankrauff - January 12, 2010

I also have some related books to offer to the list here that I’ve found informative, fascinating, and useful – and very pertinent to our reading of Jimerson’s book:

Benedict, Karen. Ethics and the Archival Profession: Introduction and Case Studies. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2003.

Blouin, Francis X. and William G. Rosenberg. Archives, Documentation, and Institutions of Social Memory: Essays from the Sawyer Seminar. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006.

Burton, Antoinette, ed. Archive Stories: Facts, Fictions, and the Writing of History. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.

Cox, Richard J. Ethics, Accountability, and Recordkeeping in a Dangerous World. Cornwall, U.K.: Facet Publishing, 2006.

Craven, Louise, ed. What Are Archives? Cultural and Theoretical Perspectives: A Reader. Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2008.

Derrida, Jacques. Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Hamilton, Carolyn et al, editors. Refiguring the Archive. Cape Town: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002.

Harris, Verne S. Archives and Justice: A South African Perspective. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2006.

Lincoln – I’m not seeing a link – am I being dense? (it’s often the case, I assure you!)

Lincoln Cushing - January 12, 2010

Alison-
This interface isn’t the most intuitive around, so don’t feel bad. It took me half an hour to figure out how to get my photo on my posts instead of abstract art. The links mentioned are embedded in the poster’s name for that entry, offering one specific link for that item. If you mouse over you can see a little preview pane.

Alison Stankrauff - January 12, 2010

Thanks Lincoln!
Got it!

With Appreciation,
Alison

6. Eric Ketelaar - January 13, 2010

Eric Ketelaar, “Recordkeeping and Societal Power, in: Sue McKemmish, Michael Piggott, Barbara Reed & Frank Upward (eds.), Archives: Recordkeeping in Society (Wagga-Wagga, Charles Sturt University 2005) (Topics in Australasian Library and Information Studies, No. 24) 277-298.
Spanish transl. by Alejandro Delgado Gómez: Gestión de registros y poder social, in: Sue McKemmish, Michael Piggott, Barbara Reed & Frank Upward (eds.), Archivos: gestión de registros en sociedad (Cartagena, Concejalía de Cultura: 3000 Informática 2007) 379-404.

7. Eric Ketelaar - January 19, 2010

Beatrice S. Bartlett’s fine article about the archives of the People’s Republic of China, in: Archival Science 7 (2007) 369-390, is worth reading.

Eric Ketelaar - January 21, 2010

Sorry, I hadn’t yet read chapter 4 where Jimerson refers to Bartlett on pages 228-229.

Lincoln Cushing - January 23, 2010

Eric-

Thanks so much for your suggestion of Bartlett’s article. I will wait until we start discussion of Chapter 4, but as someone who has studied and written about the Cultural Revolution I found her analysis on the subject to be remarkably honest and unbiased – that is, to not simply parrot the official line that the “anarchy” of the GPCR resulted in wholesale destruction of priceless cultural documents. This position is echoed by Jimerson on page 227 as “The vast destruction of books and other cultural sources during the Maoist Cultural Revolution is well known,” but in fact is undermined by Bartlett’s conclusions. I submit that such destructive incidents – which did happen, not to be an apologist – were more symbolic than systematic, and that the “records trashing” narrative about the GPCR is one more effort to discredit it and support the current regime.

8. Lincoln Cushing - February 4, 2010

New Nixon Materials Available

The Nixon Presidential Library opened approximately 280,000 pages of textual materials. This opening included:

5,500 pages declassified, in whole or in part, as the result of mandatory review requests from individual researchers. These documents essentially cover national security matters….

Approximately 20,000 pages of formerly restricted materials from the White House Special Files and Staff Member and Office Files.

Approximately 40,000 pages from the Health, Education and Welfare and White House files of Frederic V. Malek.

Approximately 75,000 pages from Mr. Malek’s files from the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, where he served as Deputy Campaign Manager in 1972. The Nixon Library received the CRP files as part of a large 2007 deed of gift of political and campaign materials from the Nixon Foundation.

9. Lincoln Cushing - February 21, 2010

“Quick note on taxonomic transparency” by Rory Litwin, Library Juice, February 2010


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