Episode 15: Courtney Dean- Punk Rock Archives, Better Labor Practices & Community Strength

Welcome to the final episode of season one!

I couldn’t think of a more powerful and amazing guest than the talented and inspirational Courtney Dean. Doing this episode with her was just plain fun and reminded me of all the reasons that I got into this world: to have colleagues like this. People who will stand by you and laugh with you, speak your language, protest with you and party with you.

That’s what this show, ultimately is about. I hope that during the next few weeks while I am on a mini-hiatus you can go back and listen to past episodes and check out all the other guests who TRULY fulfill the same function in this landscape that this week’s guest does.

 

Of significant importance, I hope that everyone who listens to this signs the letter/petition included in Courtney’s links. The contract issues we discuss are not business practices exclusive to UCLA and they need to stop. Archival workers, librarians, we are important. We are growing and radicalizing as a field, no longer allowing the rotting structures of the past to rule. and bringing our own beautiful identities to the table and critical lived experiences to our work. We need visibility, job security, unions and everything that Courtney and the inspirational team behind this letter are calling for. Sign it. You don’t have to work or even know a librarian or archivist to sign. Just sign it “caring citizen.” 🙂

Anyways, I love all of you who have been supporting this show and my guests. THANK YOU FOR THAT. I’ll be back in a bit with more amazing people rocking this space.

For now, here is Courtney’s bio and the amazing links to her other highly recommended archives and materials. I will second/third/infinity all of them as well. COURTNEY RULES!!!

BIO:

Courtney Dean is the Head of the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT) in UCLA Library Special Collections, where she provides hands-on training in archival methodology to graduate students from a variety of academic backgrounds, and facilitates creative engagement with special collections materials. Prior to UCLA she worked as a Project Archivist at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). In 2014 she co-founded the Los Angeles Archivists Collective (LAAC), a community-driven local professional organization with a focus on students and new professionals. She is an active member of the Society of California Archivists and Society of American Archivists, where she is currently the Issues & Advocacy Section’s Vice-Chair. She earned her MLIS from UCLA in 2013.

 
 
Los Angeles Archivists Collective (LAAC): http://www.laacollective.org/
 
 
 
Louisville Underground Music Archive: https://library.louisville.edu/archives/luma
 
Alliance for Local Music Archives (ALMA): http://www.localmusicarchives.org/
 
 
 
Queer Zine Archive Project (QZAP): https://www.qzap.org/v8/index.php
 
Issues & Advocacy Section of SAA: https://issuesandadvocacy.wordpress.com/

 

Ettarh, Fobazi. Vocational Awe and Librarianship: The Lies We Tell Ourselves. In the Library with the Lead Pipe. January 10, 2018. http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2018/vocational-awe/

 

Karly Wildenhaus on LIS Internships: https://tinyletter.com/lis-internships
 
Algorithms of Oppression by Safiya Umoja Noble

Episode 11: Magnus Berg- Transgender Identity in Cataloging, Power in Pronouns, and Ableism in Hiring Practices

So June is Pride Month. I decided that instead of twice a month, I would do a podcast EVERY WEEK, platforming a queer archive, preservationist or issue. So here we are again! I am really excited. So many critical issues & people to feature.

Last week you met my wonderful colleague and friend Anne Marie Kelly.  This week you will meet the amazing Magnus Berg.

Before ANYTHING I want to promote an event that Magnus is doing in San Francisco THIS THURSDAY the 14th at the place they are interning at, The GLBT Historical Society Archives and Museums. It sounds like the greatest event & if I were local I would sooooo be there! Go to this!!!!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/playback-do-it-yourself-audiovisual-archiving-tickets-45600216475

 

When I first met Magnus at AMIA, I was instantly drawn to their amazing charm and appeal. As you will hear, they are intensely smart and HFS amazing. I wish that instead of this podcast, you could all be in a room with them. Being around Magnus is so much fun. Magnus is just…I can’t put words to it because they made me smile. And again, another wonderful Canadian gift!!

As I state in this episode, we are much stronger with trans archivists, archivists of color, differently abled archivists and marginalized archivists than we are without them. Much stronger. That *is* community, y’all. As Magnus and I work through issues of archival cataloging practices, hiring practices, film festival circuits and my desire to convince Martin Scorsese to donate all of his future funding to transgender film preservation, I think you will agree.

I hope you enjoy this episode.

BIO:

Magnus Berg is a MA candidate in the Film + Photography Preservation and Collections Management program at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. They have worked with audiovisual collections at Visual Studies Workshop, The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, Ryerson University, and most recently The GLBT Historical Society Archives. Magnus is the current Co-Chair of the LGBT Committee for the Association of Moving Image Archivists and has presented on audiovisual preservation at Sexuality and Gender Studies and Archival Science conferences in Canada and the United States.

Episode 10: Anne Marie Kelly- the Power of Oral History, a Good Haircut and Preservation As a Political Practice

Not only will this be the 10th episode of Archivist’s Alley but it is also Pride Month. Therefore, this month I thought it would be wonderful to showcase some of the most exciting work and wonderful queer archivists in the preservation community. I hope that you all are as thrilled about it as I am. It’s going to be a Fabulous month, in every sense of the word!

Full disclosure: I was incredibly moved putting together episode 10. Anne Kelly’s work, passion and eloquence is inspirational. I first met her while she was writing an excellent column on Katherine Hepburn called A Year With Kate which we talk about a bit on the show. Thanks to TCM Film Fest, we got to hang out even more and shared such great times. You’ll learn how she moved from TCMFF and this incredible 52-week Kate Hepburn extravaganza to interning with the ultra brilliant Teague Schneiter at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to her current position as the Program Specialist for New Dimensions in Testimony at the USC Shoah Foundation.


But our conversation focuses on much more. We talk about the critical nature of oral history and the oral tradition. Genocide and the fact that it is still a problem. It is on-going and it has not stopped and that many simply associate the term genocide with the Holocaust and that continues to allow people, entire cultures, to disappear.

I talk to Anne about her identity as a queer woman in the archival landscape, community and the thing that has brought her and I together so strongly for so many years: our love for and belief in the revolutionary nature of memory work.

I am so excited to present this episode for you to kick off a month where we need to support and celebrate each other and erase erasure now more than ever.

Guest Bio:

Anne Marie Kelly is a Project Specialist at the USC Shoah Foundation. She is a recent graduate with her Masters in Cinema & Media Studies from USC with publications in The Cine-Files and Spectator. Anne previously worked in film sound restoration for Deluxe Entertainment and consulted at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Oral History Projects on the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA Oral History Interviews collection.

Link to the USC Shoah Foundation: https://sfi.usc.edu/

Episode 9: It’s My Birthday! Meet My Mom, Enid Kent Sperber!

I turn 40 tomorrow, May 20th.

My mom asked me what I wanted to do.

I decided that I wanted to record a podcast with her.

So I did.

I have some shouts out to some folks in here that inspired me to become who I am. Check it out.

But to be honest, every guest that is on here inspires the hell out of me.

My mom, Enid Kent Sperber, is amazing & I love her. I hope you enjoy this episode.

Archivist’s Alley will be back in June with Pride Month!

Episode 6: Erica Lopez- Mexican American Home Movies, Being “Seen,” and Gauging Class in Amateur Films

The best thing to come out of the last election was that I met Erica Lopez.

As you’ll learn about in the first few minutes of this week’s episode, we met at the AMIA conference in Pittsburgh, PA. It was November of 2016.


 

 

The sad thing was that the actual conference was amazing. Some of the best panels I’ve ever experienced at AMIA. But we were all so goddamn numb because of the election results that we were somewhere between zombie, “Is this real life?” and wanting to go to sleep forever or the next 4 years (whichever came first).

But I met Erica Lopez and her badass partner-in-archivey-action Caroline Oliveira and I was so thrilled. These women were my kinda ladies!!!!! These women were still students and considerably younger than me but I was so excited to find women who were just as passionate about the field as I was in a positive and pro-active way!

Obviously I kept in touch with both women.

Erica got in touch with me earlier this year and told me what her thesis was going to be about and I was floored. Her title, as presented at the end of March, is Mi Voz: Latin@ Self-Representation in Home Moviesand this was the description that was posted in the schedule for NYU MIAP thesis presentations. “The portrayal of Latin@s in the media has been constructed by stereotypes that attempt to suppress their voice. This thesis will focus on home movies of Latin@s, primarily on Mexican-American/ Xican@ communities. These movies challenge, threaten and question stereotypes of  Latin@s because these are images of self-representation. This thesis will look at different collections of home movies, specifically looking at the content, film format, the year they were shot and the year they were acquired in a cultural institution. The thesis will also consider how this community is represented in metadata since Mexican-American, Latin@, Hispan@, and Xican@ are labels that connote problematic issues. The thesis will end with a case study on The Fuentes Collection of home movies, which has been added to the National Film Registry’s list. After giving an historical background of the Fuentes family, I will discuss how they represent life in a border-town-space.”

I genuinely love home movies but let’s get real: the ones that most people see and the stereotype of the “Home Movie” is pretty damn white.

Home Movies are not white. Looking at those in the US, they are African American. They are Japanese American. They are Mexican American. They are Italian American. They are Pilipino American. So why do we just imagine blond babies toddling by the Christmas tree while Dad drinks a beer when we consider the “home movie”?

Erica Lopez is subverting the dominant paradigm by saying: I’m looking at Mexican Home Movies, movies that people have been ignoring. Films that have been sitting there because they are of people of color, cultures who have systematically disparaged and considered “less than” by a structure that still requires fixing. Erica Lopez is a critical scholar in this area. She did exactly what archival professionals are supposed to do: she saw a void in our field and said, “Oh hell no. I’m gonna fix that!”

Full disclosure: Erica is one of my best friends. So of course I’m going to say amazing things about her. But I wouldn’t go out of my way to praise her scholarship or social justice passion if it wasn’t present. That would not fit my ethical guidelines for myself and how I live my life.

I invite you to listen to this podcast that I did with a woman who continues to impress me the longer I know her. I think you’ll enjoy it.

I know we enjoyed doing it.

Erica’s Bio:

My name is Erica Gloria López. I am a graduate student at NYU Moving Image and Archiving Preservation program. I’ll be graduating this May, hopefully, so the pressure is on to join the ‘professional’ world is scary, for many reasons, and obvious ones. Growing up in a Mexican family, living in America, was an experience that with time and experiences, has influenced my life. I never thought I would be an archivist, let alone, ever imagined finishing school at my age, 35, since I did not go to college after High School. I was too busy going to punk shows and dancing to 80s music in Downtown LA. But, for some odd reason, I stumbled across this program. It’s been one of my biggest life challenges, and the most rewarding.

Check out The Fuentes Collection:  http://www.texasarchive.org/library/index.php/Category:The_Fuentes_Collection