Michelle Caswell

Past Imperfect: Imagining Our Way Out of Annihilation in Archives

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 4:00pm
Instruction & Training 1312

In the 1970s, feminist communication scholars first proposed the term “symbolic annihilation” to describe the ways in which women are absent, underrepresented, or misrepresented in mainstream media. Taking this concept as a starting point, Michelle Caswell (UCLA) will examine the ways in which mainstream archival practice has symbolically annihilated communities of color and LGBTQ communities through absence, underrepresentation, and misrepresentation. She will invite us to conceive of and build a world in which communities that have historically been and are currently being marginalized are fully empowered to represent their past, construct their present, and envision their futures as forms of liberation.

Refreshments will be served.

Michelle Caswell, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Archival Studies in the Department of Information Studies at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), where she also holds a joint appointment with Asian American studies. Her work in critical archival studies engages how individuals and communities activate archives to forge identities, create robust representations, and produce feelings of belonging. 

This talk is co-sponsored by UCSB Library and UCSB Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Earlier in the day, at 2:00PM, Caswell will hold an informal session with students and anyone else interested in exploring a career in archival work.