Collecting Activism, Archiving Occupy Wall Street: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Collecting Activism, Archiving Occupy Wall Street

1st Edition

By Kylie Message


130 pages | 14 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-09-17
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Collecting Activism, Archiving Occupy Wall Street explores the material collections produced by participants of Occupy Wall Street in 2011 that bear witness to the experience and agency of ‘the 99%’.

Examining processes of collection development as a lens through which to investigate the sociology of protest and reform movements, the book questions what contribution a dual study of the material culture of dissent and the production of a collection hosting the material culture of dissent might offer to a range of disciplines and practices. It asks if and how a collections-based study can test the propositions, tactics, and limits of activism from archival, museological, and political perspectives.

Collecting Activism, Archiving Occupy Wall Street draws from interdisciplinary fields, including museum studies, collection studies, archive studies, cultural studies, and public history. It will be a valuable resource for scholars and practitioners engaged with contemporary cause-based collecting, activist archiving, public history, and the cultural politics and sociology of social reform movements. It models strategies for ‘activating’ historical archives and collections-based data, and for engaging with autoethnographic records to represent and analyze the material residue of protest and reform movements today.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Go document history as it happens

1. Activist collecting: Writing movement lives through things

2. Object lessons: Occupy Wall Street. Bring tent

3. Organizing action: Archiving Occupy

Conclusion: This changes everything

About the Author

Kylie Message is Professor of Public Humanities in the Humanities Research Centre and Associate Dean (Research) for the College of Arts and Social Sciences at the Australian National University. Her recent publications include The Disobedient Museum: Writing at the Edge, Museums and Racism, and Museums and Social Activism: Engaged Protest. She is the Founding Series Editor of ‘Museums in Focus’.

About the Series

Museums in Focus

Committed to the articulation of big, even risky, ideas in short-format publications, Museums In Focus challenges authors and readers to experiment with, innovate, and press museums and the intellectual frameworks through which we view these. It offers a platform for approaches that radically rethink the relationships between cultural and intellectual dissent and crisis and debates about museums, politics and the broader public sphere.

Museums In Focus is motivated by the intellectual hypothesis that museums are not innately ‘useful’, safe’ or even ‘public’ places, and that recalibrating our thinking about them might benefit from adopting a more radical and oppositional form of logic and approach. Examining this problem requires a level of comfort with (or at least tolerance of) the idea of crisis, dissent, protest and radical thinking, and authors might benefit from considering how cultural and intellectual crisis, regeneration and anxiety have been dealt with in other disciplines and contexts.

Books published in the series are between 30,000 and 50,000 words in length and fully refereed.  If you would like to discuss submitting a proposal, please contact the series editor: [email protected]

Further information about Professor Message's work can be found here:

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology