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The Archival Turn in Feminism

Outrage in Order

Kate Eichhorn

Publication Year: 2013

In the 1990s, a generation of women born during the rise of the second wave feminist movement plotted a revolution. These young activists funneled their outrage and energy into creating music, and zines using salvaged audio equipment and stolen time on copy machines. By 2000, the cultural artifacts of this movement had started to migrate from basements and storage units to community and university archives, establishing new sites of storytelling and political activism.
The Archival Turn in Feminism chronicles these important cultural artifacts and their collection, cataloging, preservation, and distribution. Cultural studies scholar Kate Eichhorn examines institutions such as the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University, The Riot Grrrl Collection at New York University, and the Barnard Zine Library. She also profiles the archivists who have assembled these significant feminist collections.
Eichhorn shows why young feminist activists, cultural producers, and scholars embraced the archive, and how they used it to stage political alliances across eras and generations.

A volume in the American Literatures Initiative

Published by: Temple University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-xii

In the early to mid 1990s, as many established feminist institutions were falling into decline, girls and young women across North America started to plot a new revolution. Armed with little more than scissors, glue, and stolen time on copy machines, they made zines an integral part of their movement. ...

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pp. 1-24

In early 2009, Jenna Freedman, one of the activist librarians I met during the course of researching this book, invited me to attend a conference at Columbia University on the subject of “archiving women.”1 Freedman, the founder of the Barnard Zine Library and a speaker at the conference, used the opportunity to discuss the development of the collection ...

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1. The "Scrap Heap" Reconsidered: Selected Archives of Feminist Archiving

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pp. 25-54

In October 2010, Susan Faludi published an article in Harper’s Magazine on the subject of “feminism’s ritual matricide.” In summary, Faludi argues that American feminism has always been and remains structured by a matricidal impulse. ...

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2. Archival Regeneration: The Zine Collections at the Sallie Bingham Center

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pp. 55-84

If the feminist archives featured in this study are unique in the history of feminist archival initiatives, then it is to the extent that they represent a relationship to time and history that has only recently become possible. After all, these archives reflect the sort of relationship to time and history ....

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3. Redefining a Movement: The Riot Grrrl Collection at Fales Library and Special Collections

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pp. 85-122

In the early 1990s , most people in North America, including most feminists, had never heard the term “Riot Grrrl.” By 1993, Riot Grrrl was synonymous with a style and politic signifying a new feminism—a feminism for the “video-age generation . . . sexy, assertive and loud.”1 This is the story told by Sara Marcus in Girls to the Front. ...

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4. Radical Catalogers and Accidental Archivists: The Barnard Zine Library

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pp. 123-154

I met Jenna Freedman at Barnard College, the women’s college at Columbia University, in 2006. On the occasion of my first visit, Freedman, perhaps more widely known as the “zine librarian” and sometimes simply as the “blue-haired librarian,”1 gave me a tour of the zine library she founded at the Barnard Library in 2003. ...

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pp. 155-160

In many respects, this book opens where Ann Cvetkovich’s An Archive of Feelings ends. Although Cvetkovich’s study is concerned with queer and lesbian archives rather than feminist archives, the overlaps between our studies are notable; at times they cover similar terrain and even refer to some of the same collections, cultural phenomena, and urban geographies. ...


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pp. 161-178

Works Cited

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pp. 179-184


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pp. 185-188

About the Author

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p. 204-204

E-ISBN-13: 9781439909539
E-ISBN-10: 1439909539
Print-ISBN-13: 9781439909515
Print-ISBN-10: 1439909512

Page Count: 190
Publication Year: 2013