When we broke into discussion groups at the end of the day, our conversations repeated five key topics.
The internet affords a space to convey the import of our queer history while making space for queer youth to learn and develop archives, and conveying the archives to radically different audiences
A space for play within the archives in order to get youth connected to digital materials and make space for teaching archives — all of which begs questions of access, connectivity, and humanizing digital collections
We kept returning to our queer economies in regards to interacting with capital and maintaining our integrity — we assume strong leadership and constant turnaround of free queer labor with innovative workarounds but how do we unite these projects, grant efforts, and support the labor that undergirds the digitization of our history?
Respond to the distancing, two dimensional computational aspects of too much history by highlighting the affective via non-heirarchical, open access (OA), well designed, and linked systems for web searches and databases, such as Collective Access, Omeka, and other free OA database software
Still, there is a shock amongst those who came out through the early 2000s that “queer archives” is even a term, and their burgeoning number refuses the “it gets better” conversation as it sheds a light on difference and the affective pain of our queer past
Just as we finished the night, two participants shouted, ”We keep coming back to capitalism…,” followed by, ”And how we want information to be free!” Even with the first of two(!) Queering Archives issues out by the Radical History Review representing the surge of interest and research in this area, the sentiment has not changed over the last year.
In our conversations about how to best open a generative space for forging activist and research connections and partnerships, we began to imagine what sort of group exercise could bring us to the table with open minds and imaginations.
Therefore we have a small and important request. In our conversations about how to best open a generative space for forging activist and research connections and partnerships, we began to imagine what sort of group exercise could bring us to the table with open minds and imaginations. Therefore we ask each QIS participant to draw and bring your own mental map of queer NYC to the QIS workshop.
A mental map is your own hand-drawn or labelled map–by “labelled map” I mean using a GoogleMap printout or NYC subway, for example. Include all of the places and spaces that you would identify as queer. You can spend as long as you like on drafting your map, use color or not, and they only need be 8.5″x11″ (a regular size piece of paper). All levels of drawing skills are expected and welcome. It does not matter when these places existed, but do your best to label them. It also does not matter what your sexual identity is or if you are from NYC or beyond; everyone’s geographical imagination of the queer city is key regardless of how detailed or recent it may be. The map will be a part of the afternoon group workshop to kick off conversations and collaborations. Just like every voice matters, every map matters.
The Queer Internet Studies conference (#QIS2014) brings together thinkers, makers and doers in a workshop format who draw upon social scientific methods to do work at the intersection of queer life and the internet. Taking Samuel Delany’s (2001) call for lgbtq contact and networking to heart, we seek to bring together researchers who investigate the construction of queer communities, the development of queer knowledge production and cultures, and assess how queer identity is understood and archived. This workshop is geared towards fostering scholarly, activist, and journalistic opportunities for digital technologies and queer storytelling and visualization. We look to identify existing projects as well as suggest future collaborations of writers, scholars, and technologists interested in possibilities for supporting the development of the queer internet and queering the internet.
The conference will take place on Friday, April 4th, 2014, at Columbia University in NYC.