Queering archives : the practices of zines

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2014
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This thesis is a consideration of zines and zine practices, and their impact on how we understand archives. I argue that to define zines we need to look past the materiality of the publication, and consider a broader set of practices. Considering zines as practices enables different, and not necessarily linear, approaches to archives. I demonstrate that zines have a queer sensibility, and this ‘zine’ sensibility can disrupt linear repro-time and space (per Halberstam) and ways of making archives. This thesis asks ‘what impact do zine practices have on how archives are understood and imagined?’ and addresses this question through the consideration of a series of spatial and temporal examples. These examples include formal collecting institutions, bedrooms, do-it-yourself archives in social centres and cafes, scholarly publications and zine anthologies. A secondary point of investigation asks ‘how do specific sites of non-normative research such as zines inform research practice, and what form can this research take?’ This question is addressed by employing a queer approach to methodology motivated by zine practices; I use scavenger techniques to build a body of knowledge that includes narratives, interviews, zines, gossip and academic texts. To queer archives disrupts normalised understandings of memory and histories, challenging assumed temporalities and reimagining the fixed space of ‘the archive’. Zines and zine practices unsettle assumptions of archival spaces, and through this archives can be reimagined as generative and productive sites of practice and knowledge, rather than static sites of fact and record.
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