My research interests circle around the following areas of scholarship: archival outreach and advocacy, concepts of community, collective memory and identity, activism and social movement, and queer social histories.
I follow scholarship in the areas of intellectual property, digital cultures, and technologies. I've also written about the history of total archives in Canada.
My dissertation research examines the ways in which institutionalized queer archives reflect the social movements from which they emerged. I use social movement theory to consider how and why they are founded and the strategies these organizations use to sustain themselves over time. I am particularly interested in how the trajectories of these institutions have been shaped by social movement ideologies, organizational cultures and the availability of resources needed to undertake their work. By positioning my analytical lens to emphasize the activist orientations of these institutions, my dissertation initiates a dialogue between archival studies, sexuality studies, and social movement studies to build on the many modes of understanding ‘queer archives’ and their relationships to the communities they serve.
Findings shed light on the work of LGBTQ+ archives from an activist orientation. This should not only help professional archivists to better understand these organizations and anticipate any opportunities and challenges they may encounter when partnering with queer archives or acquiring their collections, but also call attention to some of the limitations of traditional heritage or archival studies approaches to understanding these kinds of community-based collections.
I approach my work from a social justice perspective and recognize that our personal and cultural identities are formed within the same social contexts that privilege some voices while silencing (or attempting to silence) others.