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
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’.