The Archival Encounters Online Series will run from October to December 2020 and bring together a group of scholars, writers, artists and cultural creators to reflect about the ways in which communities encounter and engage with colonial archives in the cultural present. The series wishes to foster dialogue between the fields of African diaspora studies, postcolonial studies, critical archival studies and artistic research to discuss the limitations and creative possibilities of knowing beyond the archive.

Confirmed speakers include La Vaughn Belle, Tami Navarro, Hadiya Sewer and Tiphanie Yanique (Virgin Islands Studies Collective), Cynthia Oliver, Deborah Thomas, Nydia A. Swaby, Hazel Carby and Katherine McKittrick. 

The series foregrounds concepts and methods such as witnessing 2.0 and repair (Deborah Thomas), becoming with the archive (Nydia A. Swaby), imperial intimacies (Hazel Carby), demonic grounds (Katherine McKittrick), ancestral queendom (La Vaughn Belle, Tami Navarro, Hadiya Sewer and Tiphanie Yanique), among others. The series wishes to stimulate conversations on how such concepts, methods and approaches may ground new encounters with archival material as well as “new ways of entering and leaving the archives of slavery” (Christina Sharpe, In the Wake, 2016, p. 13).

Inspired by notions such as “intimate histories” (Saidiya Hartman), “quiet soundings” (Tina Campt) and “caring for risky archives” (Jasmine Rault and T. L. Cowan), the series stages a set of intimate conversations that will be pre-recorded and posted on this page over the Fall. 


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