Making things to make sense of things: inventive practice in archival research
- Thursday 1 November, 3-5pm
- UTS Building 10, Level 14, Room 201
- Registration essential, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
This session explores hands-on feminist making methods in theory and practice in relation to socio-technical histories. There has been a recent turn in social sciences, and particularly in the study of mobilities, to resist the tendency to flatten and pin down dynamic subjects in order to study them and ‘to account forthe social world without assassinating the life contained within it’ (Back 2012:21). This has led to the development of ‘messy’ (Law 2004), ‘mobile' (Büscher et al 2011), ‘live’ (Back and Puwar 2012), ‘inventive’ (Lury and Wakeford 2012) and ‘interdisciplinary’ methods (Lury et al 2018) to name a few. There has also been a feminist turn in the archives that explores archives not only in terms of what is present but what is absent and who is silenced and contests the politics, power and authority that shape collections (Steedman 2002, Stoler 2002; Eichorn 2014). With these shifts comes great responsibility and possibility for the feminist researcher. How can we inventively and creatively respond to historic materials and the ‘telling blanks and perversely wilful holes’ in archives (Bryan-Wilson and Duyne 2013:82)? How might different methods help us to re-imagine and re-inhabit the past and present?
This Masterclass will reflect on these challenges in the context of Kat Jungnickel’s archival research project about the history of Victorian women inventors and radical new forms of cycle wear. This project combines archival research and ethnographic methods with the making and wearing of a collection of convertible cycle wear inspired by 1890s patents. In the session we will get up close (and into) some of the research costumes and discuss what emerges when we make things to make sense of things.
Kat Jungnickel is a senior lecturer and co-director of the Methods Lab and the Digital World Making research group in the Sociology Department, Goldsmiths College, University of London. Her research explores mobilities, gender, technology cultures, DiY/DiT (Doing-it-Together) making communities and visual and inventive methods. She is the author DiY WiFi: Re-imagining Connectivity (Palgrave Pivot 2014) and the recently published Bikes & Bloomers: Victorian women inventors and their extraordinary cycle wear (Goldsmiths Press 2018). www.katjungnickel.com and www.bikesandbloomers.com