Out of the Closet, Into the Archives: Researching Sexual Histories edited collection

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Editors: Amy L. Stone, Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Trinity University Jaime Cantrell, Doctoral Candidate, Department of English, Louisiana State University
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Out of the Closet, Into the Archives: Researching Sexual Histories
Call for Proposals, due May 1

Amy L. Stone, Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Trinity University
Jaime Cantrell, Doctoral Candidate, Department of English, Louisiana State University

For the past two decades the field of sexuality studies has seen an influx in critical perspectives utilizing sexuality as an organizing principle for archival research. Archives with substantial sexuality collections such as the GLBT Historical Society and the Cornell University Human Sexuality Collection have both fueled and emerged from a growing body of literature on sexual histories. Meanwhile, recent scholarly conversations have begun to examine the archive as a fundamentally queer space, or at least, one that continues to be structured and informed by sexuality. As such, we are pleased to announce that we are accepting proposals for inclusion in Out of the Closet, Into the Archives: Researching Sexual Histories. We solicit scholarly articles and essays that provide evidence for the quality of research done while at institutional, private, and public archives housing exemplary queer material collections, including excerpts and summaries of research, personal reflections on doing research at queer archives and archives with queer collections, as well as considerations reflecting on the process of archival research—particularly with regard to the problematic nature of interpreting sexuality in archival documents, manuscripts, and ephemera. This collection promises to not only enrich the history of sexuality, but also to set itself apart from similar volumes by drawing together scholarly work from a wide range of academic fields, including History, English, Communication, American Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Anthropology. The expansive breadth of materials housed within human sexuality collections centralizes an exigent need for research representing both repositories and their substantive contents.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to the following:

• Affective responses to queer archival research.
• The relation of the queer historian/archivist/academic to the past.
• Considerations of sexuality studies work that spins outward to include other identity shaping and fracturing discourses.
• Our interpretative procedures in the archives—how we deduce presence from absence and/or voices speaking from the past, particularly with regard to the problems and risk of such interpretive procedures.
• How LGBTQ archives or archives with LGBTQ collections challenge, recuperate, or re-signify what materials ought to be collected.
• Historicizing archival heteronormativity, or the erasures with regard to race, class, sexuality, (trans)gender, and (dis)ability.
• Non-print queer archival forms, particularly with regard to moving images, audio, oral, ephemera, and digital materials.
• The temporal ruptures and convergences, its coalescences and contradictions in representations, and the goals and formulations that structure our approaches and frames.
• The personal experience of your archival research in a queer archive or archive with queer materials (notably Cornell’s Human Sexuality Collection, the GLBT Historical Society, the NYPL Gay and Lesbian Collections, the Lesbian Herstory Archives, the Sophia Smith Collection, Duke’s Mary Lily Collection, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives).
• How specific archival manuscripts, collections or materials at any of the above institutions might illuminate the complexity of sexuality archival research.
• Queer archives as sites for enabling radical, intergenerational, and coalitionist work across fields of research both within and outside the academy.

At this time we are requesting abstracts that are no longer than 400 words along with a brief CV; these are due by May 1 and should be submitted electronically to outinthearchives@gmail.com with “Abstract Submission” in the subject line. By May 15th, 2013 authors will be notified whether they should submit a full version of their article. The due date for completed drafts is September 1, 2013. Final drafts should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with preliminary inquiries.

cfp categories: 
modernist studies