A Queer/ed Archival Methodology: Archival Bodies as Nomadic Subjects

Jamie Ann Lee

Abstract


This article highlights the particular—embodied—ways in which the human record can be collected, organized, and preserved. Engaging both archival and queer theories, the understanding of body-as-archives and archives-as-body is instantiated in the oral history record from one genderqueer poet. This poet’s narration can be understood as a nomadic one of multiplicities, undoings, and metamorphoses. The far-reaching possibilities of the ongoing histories of the simultaneous becoming and unbecoming – archived (un)becomings – are at play and embodied throughout this archived oral history.  The archives can produce a dizzying effect through which, I argue, archivists can resist the urge to settle, to neatly organize, and to contain the archival records to consider new ways to understand and represent the dynamic (un)becomings. Through the interpretive frame of the nomadic, the archives can be understood as a site of (un)becomings and as a space that can hold moving living histories.


Keywords


Archival bodies; Embodiment; Queer/ed Archival Methodology; Nomadic Theory

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