Activist Archives and Frameworks of Care


Event details


Cost: Free

This program of the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts is provided with generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, with additional support from the William Penn Foundation and Independence Foundation.

Through her work with activists in communities marginalized by gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, and HIV-status, Dr. Marika Cifor has developed a framework for understanding archives through the lenses of cure, care, and radical empathy.  Through case studies, her presentation allows us to ask the question, how can the lessons be applied to your institution’s archives?

This webinar addresses Focus Area #2 of the FAIC’s Held In Trust Report on Diversity, Equity Inclusion, and Accessibility—inclusive engagement with diverse communities.

About our speaker:

Marika Cifor is Assistant Professor in the Information School and adjunct faculty in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. She is a feminist scholar of archival studies and digital studies. Her research investigates how individuals and communities marginalized by gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, and HIV-status are represented and how they document and represent themselves in archives and digital cultures.

Cifor is the author of Viral Cultures: Activist Archiving in the Age of AIDS (University of Minnesota Press, 2022). In Viral Cultures, she examines the archives that keep the history and work of AIDS activism alive. Her archival ethnography details how contemporary activists, artists, and curators utilize these records to build upon the cultural legacy of 1980s and 1990s American AIDS activism to challenge the conditions of injustice that undergird current AIDS crises. She analyzes the power structures through which these archives are mediated, positioning vital nostalgia as both a critical faculty and a generative practice, reanimating the past in the digital age.