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Co-creating the past-future of community archives 
Dan Kabella (University of California, San Francisco)
Jason Chernesky (Johns Hopkins University)
Kelly Knight (UCSF)
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Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This panel explores the processes, opportunities and tensions that arise when open archives and the publics they serve co-create knowledge and value through community engagement practices. We engage with scholars working as, for and with communities on archives and the decolonization of knowledge.

Long Abstract:

In this panel we pose the following questions: (1) How should public archives co-facilitate relational accountability with the publics they serve? (2) How do tensions and opportunities emerge and circulate when both knowledge and value are co-created through the community engagement practices of open technoscientific archives? (3) How should opportunities and tensions be meaningfully addressed toward the goals of mutual aid and repair?

Participatory public knowledge infrastructures invite new modes of knowledge production from actors involved in the design and use of open archives. STS scholars conceive of archives as platforms for generative explorations into our knowledge economies and the imagined publics they enroll. Scholarship from feminist STS, anthropology and history introduce methodological approaches that interrogate the terms of engagement and processes of construction for shared archival labor that complicates notions of archives as neutral repositories of information. This labor offers the reanalysis of archival material but also constructs archives anew. Archival collaborators and archival technologies become part of a much larger iterative and reflexive techno-political exercise.

This panel engages broad epistemological and methodological themes concerning collaborative, community-centered, modes of knowledge production within archival assemblages. We invite scholars working as, for and with communities on archives across varied materialities, geographies and histories who recognize the fraught intersections of race, class and gender politics that determine how we locate the past and how we might co-design archival futures. Panel convenors focus work with the Opioid Industry Documents Archive, a born-digital collection of internal documents from the opioid industry. Recognizing the enormous toll that the opioid crisis has taken on communities in the context of the United States’ racialized drug war policies, we explore critical questions related to the stakes of collaborative knowledge production and academic-community engagement.

We welcome various contribution formats, such as, papers, workshops, interactive formats, and other creative suggestions.

Accepted contributions: