In the past couple of weeks, our class has been reading and having vibrant online discussions about race in riot grrrl & its historical narration, guided by Mimi Thi Nguyen’s essay “Riot Grrrl, Race and Revival” (from the Punk Anteriors issue of Women & Performance) and selections from Sara Marcus’ book Girls to the Front. Last week, we foregrounded Marcus’ book and assigned, as supplementary readings, blog posts on race and riot grrrl by Gabby Bess and Laina Dawes, and Nguyen’s article “Minor Threats.”

In our class discussion forums, students have posed generative questions about race and riot grrrl, and, in the context of our class visits to archival collections at Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges, they’ve raised concerns about whiteness, race and archives more broadly. I wanted to share some resources with the class for future reading/exploration, and thought it would be good to open our conversation to blog readers for other reading and resource recommendations.


Jarrett M. Drake’s posts in the On Archivy channel of Medium — as well as contributions by other authors to that channel.

Anthony W. Dunbar (2006) Introducing Critical Race Theory to Archival Discourse: Getting the Conversation Started. Archival Science: March 2006, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 109-129.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs (2011) Seek the Roots: An Immersive and Interactive Archive of Black Feminist Practice. Feminist Collections: Winter 2011, Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 17-20.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs (2012) “Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind: A Queer Ecological Approach to the Archive,” in Make Your Own History: Documenting Feminist and Queer Activism in the 21st Century, eds. Kelly Wooten and Lyz Bly. Library Juice Press. pp. 59-68.

Analú López (2016). “#ArchivesSoWhite: Preparing for the Field.”

Mario H. Ramirez (2015) Being Assumed Not to Be: A Critique of Whiteness as an Archival Imperative. The American Archivist: Fall/Winter 2015, Vol. 78, No. 2, pp. 339-356.

Kellee E. Warren (2016) We Need These Bodies, But Not Their Knowledge: Black Women in the Archival Science Professions and Their Connection to the Archives of Enslaved Black Women in the French Antilles. Library Trends: Spring 2016, Vol. 64, No. 4, pp. 776-794.


Issues and Advocacy Roundtable of the Society of American Archivists (2016). #ArchivesSoWhite Intro and Bibliography.”

Archives Matter Conference 2016: Queer, Feminist and Decolonial Encounters. Check out the program for a helpful list of scholars to follow.

Credit for our featured image: Photo courtesy of Burns Library, Boston College. Used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0:

— October 11, 2016

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