In the Absence of Reliable Ghosts: Archives
For anyone who works within historical archives, it will come as no surprise that any hegemonic text making confident claims to historical truth will be destabilized and exceeded by the operations of counter-archives, counter-stories that disrupt any and all ideological projects being advanced. Such a critical understanding, however, does not as easily extend to minoritized archives, where the aura and/or seduction of resistance stubbornly lingers, suturing subaltern archives to an oppositional imperative. Even the most rigorous intentions to the contrary have not prevented the demand for a veracity archive that promises such desired radicality for histories of minoritized collectivities. What happens, chapter 1 asks, if we are confronted instead with an archive of sexuality that trades the consolations of veracity genres (such as memoirs, testimonials, and biographies) for the promise of more imaginative genres of representation? The revelatory veracity of the archive gives way to a revelatory labor that eschews transparency and celebrates its own continuous (non)production.