Radical Empathy in Archival Practice
In their 2016 article From Human Rights to Feminist Ethics: Radical Empathy in the Archives, Michelle Caswell and Marika Cifor define radical empathy as “a willingness to be affected, to be shaped by another’s experience, without blurring the lines between the self and the other.” Incorporating a feminist ethics approach that centers lived experiences that fall out of the “official” archival record, Caswell and Cifor identify archivists as caregivers whose responsibilities are not primarily bound to records but to records creators, subjects, users, and communities through “a web of mutual affective responsibility.”
In a profession that has staunchly held onto myths of its own neutrality, objectivity, and dissociation of the subjective and personal, centering concepts of the body and affect critically engages archives’ and archivists’ complicity in perpetuating inequality. Recent and intersecting conversations in the archival field about feminism, queerness, race, anti-racism, contingent labor practices, peer-mentorship, and decentralizing whiteness in the profession, all relate to the concept of radical empathy in practice.
We invite authors from a variety of career experiences and archival practices (students, early career professionals, and colleagues working in community archives, public libraries, museums, non-profits, corporations, etc.) to contribute to this special issue of the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies. This issue will provide an extended exploration of “how an archival ethics of care can be enacted in real world environments.” It will explicitly focus on case studies, in particular case studies that engage feminist theory and frameworks, relating to the lived experiences of practicing archivists.
Suggested questions and topics include (but are not limited to):
- Whose bodies do we speak of in a profession whose majority makeup represents privileged bodies that are white, cis-gender, conforming to oppressive definitions and standards of ability, and have access to institutional or personal monetary resources? Whose bodies are erased or occluded in the profession?
- Archival description project audits that re-examine language in legacy finding aids.
- Affective documentation of underrepresented communities in archives.
- Managing grief and trauma with record creators, donors, subjects, users, communities, and in archival collections. What are the roles of the archivist?
- Building team competence through peer-mentorship and networks of skill and knowledge sharing.
- Critical examination of contingent labor and employment practices.
- Managing emotional labor in systemically oppressive work environments through affective relationship building (vis-a-vis manager or peer relationships).
- Exploration of access and security models that critically engage users and communities outside of academia (i.e. alternatives to the “panopticon”).
- Inclusion and recognition of archival labor and interventions in description.
- Measuring affective response as an evaluation method to archival instruction.
If interested in contributing to this themed issue, please submit an abstract (150-250 words) to the guest editors listed below by September 30, 2018.
Deadline for Manuscript Submission: January 30, 2019
TYPES OF SUBMISSIONS
JCLIS welcomes the following types of submissions:
- Research Articles (no more than 7,000 words)
- Perspective Essays (no more than 5,000 words)
- Literature Reviews (no more than 7,000 words)
- Interviews (no more than 5,000 words)
- Book or Exhibition Reviews (no more than 1,200 words)
Research articles and literature reviews are subject to peer review by two referees. Perspective essays are subject to peer review by one referee. Interviews and book or exhibition reviews are subject to review by the issue editor(s).
Please direct questions to the guest editors for the issue:
- Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez, University of California, Irvine: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jasmine Jones, University of California, Los Angeles: email@example.com
- Shannon O’Neill, Barnard College: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Holly Smith, Spelman College: email@example.com
THE JOURNAL OF CRITICAL LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES
The mission of the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies is to serve as a peer-reviewed platform for critical discourse in and around library and information studies from across the disciplines. This includes but is not limited to research on the political economy of information, information institutions such as libraries, archives, and museums, reflections on professional contexts and practices, questioning current paradigms and academic trends, questioning the terms of information science, exploring methodological issues in the context of the field, and otherwise enriching and broadening the scope of library and information studies by applying diverse critical and trans-disciplinary perspectives. Recognizing library and information studies as a diverse, cross-disciplinary field reflective of the scholarly community’s diverse range of interests, theories, and methods, JCLIS aims to showcase innovative research that queries and critiques current paradigms in theory and practice through perspectives that originate from across the humanities and social sciences.
Each issue is themed around a particular topic or set of topics and features a guest editor (or guest editors) who will work with the managing editor to shape the issue’s theme and develop an associated call for papers. Issue editors will assist in the shepherding of manuscripts through the review and preparation processes, are encouraged to widely solicit potential contributions, and work with authors in scoping their respective works appropriately.
JCLIS is open access in publication, politics, and philosophy. In a world where paywalls are the norm for access to scholarly research, the Journal recognizes that removal of barriers to accessing information is key to the production and sharing of knowledge. Authors retain copyright of manuscripts published in JCLIS, generally with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. If an article is republished after initially publication in JCLIS, the republished article should indicate that it was first published by JCLIS.
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS
The Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies welcomes submissions from senior and junior faculty, students, activists, and practitioners working in areas of research and practice at the intersection of critical theory and library and information studies.
Authors retain the copyright to material they publish in the JCLIS, but the Journal cannot re-publish material that has previously been published elsewhere. The journal also cannot accept manuscripts that have been simultaneously submitted to another outlet for possible publication.
JCLIS uses the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition as the official citation style for manuscripts published by the journal. All manuscripts should employ the Notes and Bibliography style (as footnotes with a bibliography), and should conform to the guidelines as described in the Manual.
Authors interested in contributing to this special issue should send an abstract (150-250 words) to the Guest Edtiors for the issue by September 30, 2018. Completed manuscripts should be submitted for review through JCLIS’ online submission system (http://libraryjuicepress.com/journals/index.php/jclis) by January 30, 2019. This online submission process requires that manuscripts be submitted in separate stages in order to ensure the anonymity of the review process and to enable appropriate formatting.
- Final abstracts accompanying the submission (500 words or less) should be submitted in plain text and should not include information identifying the author(s) or their institutional affiliations. With the exception of book reviews, an abstract must accompany all manuscript submissions before they are reviewed for publication.
- The main text of the manuscript must be submitted as a stand-alone file (in Microsoft Word or RTF)) without a title page, abstract, page numbers, or other headers or footers. The title, abstract, and author information should be submitted through the submission platform.