John Vincent has worked in the public sector since the 1960s, primarily for Hertfordshire, Lambeth and Enfield public library services. In 1997, he was invited to become part of the team that produced the UK’s first review of public libraries and social exclusion (from which The Network originated). John now runs courses and lectures, writes, produces regular newsletters and ebulletins, and lobbies for greater awareness of the role that libraries, archives, museums, and the cultural & heritage sector play in contributing to social justice.
He is particularly interested in supporting the work that the cultural sector does with LGBTQI people, with young people in public care, and with ‘new arrivals’ to the UK.
In January 2014, he published LGBT people and the UK cultural sector: the response of libraries, museums, archives and heritage since 1950 (Ashgate, 2016).
In February 2014, John was awarded a Special Diversity Award by the CILIP Community, Diversity and Equality Group “for his outstanding achievement in the promotion of diversity through library and information services”, and, in September 2014, John was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of CILIP.
The Network supports libraries, museums, archives, galleries and other cultural and heritage organisations (as well as individuals) who are working to tackle social exclusion and towards social justice.
John will be chairing the ‘Access’ panel on day 1 of the conference
Ken. To be destroyed: talk and book signing
The Ken. To be destroyed book has just been published, edited by Val Williams.
“This project began with an archive and a discovery My brother, sister and I inherited letters and photographs belonging to our uncle and aunt, Ken and Hazel Houston, from our mother Audrey Davidmann. The letters tell Ken and Hazel’s very private story. It emerged soon after they were married that Ken was transgender. In the context of a British marriage in the 1950s, this inevitably profoundly affected both their own relationship and their relationships with the people around them. Publicly Ken was a man, but in the privacy of the home she was a woman.
In response to the letters, papers and family photographs, I have produced a new set of photographs using analogue, alternative and digital photography processes. From the raw material of the archive to these new photographic works, a new story emerges.”
The Ken. To be destroyed book is published by Schilt with the support of London College of Communication (LCC) and the Photography and the Archive Research Centre, University of the Arts London (PARC, UAL).
Ken. To be destroyed is currently on exhibition at the Schwules Museum, Lützowstraße 73, 10785 Berlin, March 17–June 30. The exhibition was co-curated by Val Williams and Robin Christian. The exhibition is supported by LCC and PARC, UAL.
I am an artist/photographer. For over fifteen years I have taken photographs and recorded oral histories in collaboration with people from UK trans* and queer communities. My work is internationally exhibited and published. Exhibitions include Schwules Museum, Berlin (2016), Liverpool Museum (2014), LimeWharf Gallery London (2014), Homotopia Liverpool (2013), Trans*_Homo Schwules Museum Berlin (2012), LGBT Centre Paris (2009), Somatechnics Sydney (2009) Transfabulous London (2007). Publications include Crossing the Line, Dewi Lewis (2003), and I was guest co-editor of a Journal of Photography & Culture Special Issue Queering Photography (2014). I contributed a book chapter to Transgender Experience, Routledge (2014) and co-authored a journal article Queering the Trans Family Album, Radical History Review (2015). I have been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Philip Leverhulme Prize awarded 2015, a Fulbright Hays Scholarship, four Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) awards, an Association of Commonwealth Universities Fellowship and a Wellcome Trust Grant. I am a Reader in Photography at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.
Val Williams is a writer and curator, and Director of the University of the Arts London Photography and the Archive Research Centre (UAL/PARC) at London College of Communication. She is UAL Professor of the History and Culture of Photography and a founder and co-editor of the Journal of Photography & Culture. She is Director of the Moose on the Loose Biennale of Research. Val’s research has focussed on the history of women in photography, post-war British photography and contemporary photography. Book projects include Martin Parr: Photographic Works (2012/2014); Sune Jonsson, Life and Work (2014); Daniel Meadows Edited Photographs from the 70s and 80s (2011); Anna Fox: Photographs 1983-2007 (2007). Exhibition curation includes Soho Archive/Soho at Night for the Photographers Gallery in 2008/9;How We Are: Photographing Britain, Tate Britain, London, UK (2007); Martin Parr: Photographic Work 1970-2000, Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK (2002); The Dead, National Media Museum, Bradford, UK (1995); Who’s Looking at the Family, Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK, (1994); Warworks: Women, Photography and the Iconography of War, V&A, London, UK (1994).
Val’s archive was recently acquired by the Library of Birmingham and she is currently working on a major collaborative research project on the photography of the British seaside. She is the editor of Ken.To be destroyed, working in collaboration with Sara Davidmann. She became involved in the Ken.To be destroyed project in 2013 and, with Robin Christian, has curated the touring exhibition, which opened at PARC Space, London College of Communication in 2014.
Sarah’s talk and book signing will be taking place on day 1 of the conference
Describing and developing terminology for multiple identity collections
“This paper introduces the start of cataloguing project, involving research into terminology and description, controlled vocabulary, and ways to improve collections’ searchability. This focuses on the Working Press archive, books by and about working class artists, 1986-1996, the related book and zine collections, whose authors are often unidentified, or with pseudonyms, and the Tessa Boffin, 1980s-1990s photography LGBTQ. These collections deal with multiple identities –subjects include race, gender, LGBTQ, disability, feminism and lesbianism. This project is starting to explore how to describe these specific collections, through looking at controlled vocabulary, such as library of congress, and Getty vocabularies, uncontrolled vocabulary, and research into problems with both. The project also looks at work to interact with the communities featured in these collections, such as the writers featured, the extent they are involved within description, and how to involve communities, including digitally and with digital technologies.”
I have been working as the Archivist & Special Collections Officer, since 2012, after doing an MSc at Aberyswyth. I am particularly interested in working with art activism collections, utilising in learning and teaching, and working with artists responding to the archive. Work produced includes developing LGBTQ exhibitions, an exhibition on the theme of rethinking the body, and co-authoring a paper in the Arts Library Journal on archives in information literacy.
The University for the Creative Arts
The University for the Creative Arts is a specialist arts university, existing since the late 19th century, and gaining university status in 2008. Archives held specialize in the arts, particularly relating to arts activism, photography, and animation.
Rebekah will be speaking on day 1 of the conference
Queer Photography, the Archive and the Elasticity of Time
“Time is investigated as functioning beyond chronological spaces of eras, time periods and historical moments, in order to expand on nuances of queerness, the archive and photography. By questioning traditional historiographic practices, representation is evaluated beyond constraints of truth to flesh out how fragmentation, temporality and elasticity are vital to queer discourse. This research explores historical queer photographs with the express interest of examining durational elasticity, which builds on concepts of queer time by Judith Halberstam and the notion of orientation as elaborated on by Sara Ahmed.”
Steph Schem Rogerson
Steph has a PhD from the joint graduate program Communication and Culture at Ryerson/York Universities in Toronto. Her research focused on 19th century photography, representation and affect theory. She has published in both academic and art periodicals, and co-curated the exhibition Rare & Raw with Kelly McCray at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City.
Steph’s academic profile: https://ryerson.academia.edu/SRogerson
Steph will be speaking on day 1 of the conference
Collaboration, impact and inclusion: archiving in a postman, cybernetic, informatically queer world
“In the current global climate ONE Archives strives to attract and engage a range of global constituencies in a developing genderscape. We seek to reach a number of neglected publics through a vibrant programmatic and exhibitions schedule while testing our understanding of who we are, what our purpose is, and whom we serve. Using a mixture of new technologies, traditional community-based organization and innovative collaborations, our archive seeks to be as inclusive as we can, while challenging the boundaries of what is archival. We seek to produce truly exciting research around materials that pioneer the use of shared technologies as they develop.”
Joseph R. Hawkins, Ph.D
Professor of Gender Studies and Anthropology, Director of ONE Archives at USC Libraries. Received the 2016 Mentoring Award from the Center for Excellence in Teaching. He is currently working on a book examining the overlap of early LGBT publication and Science Fiction Fan Clubs in the United States and England.
ONE Archives at USC Libraries
ONE Archives is the largest LGBTQ archive in the world with over 3 million items currently in its holdings. It is the oldest continually running LGBTQ organization in the United States.
Joseph is speaking on day 1 of the conference
META – a Transnational Meta-Database Bringing Together the Diversity of Lesbian/Feminist Archives and Libraries
“META, a project of i.d.a., the umbrella organisation of women’s and lesbian’s archives and libraries in German-language countries, displays the holdings from 30 feminist and lesbian archives and libraries from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxemburg, and Italy/South Tyrol.
The idea of the bibliographical online catalogue was to bring different data formats together and to thereby create a low-threshold possibility for the participation of small institutions. The presentation will show how META unites diverse document types from archives as well as libraries, in different description formats and coding systems.
As an archivist of the Austrian Archive of the Women’s and the Lesbians’ Movements, STICHWORT, Margit Hauser will briefly elucidate the specific possibilities that participation in this project offers for individual institutions and will illustrate the meaning of this project for the visibility of holdings of Lesbian Herstory.”
Margit Hauser has been working as a team member of STICHWORT for more than 27 years. Starting as a volunteer as a student in philosophy and psychology in the late 1980s, she took part in the ongoing process of professionalisation. Since 2002 she is the Mangaging Director and part of a small team of employees and changing volunteers. Furthermore, Margit Hauser a chairwoman of the umbrella organisation of women’s and lesbian’s archives and libraries in German-language countries, i.d.a.
STICHWORT, founded in 1983, developed out of the women’s movement. STICHWORT collects all kinds of documentation pertaining to the women’s and lesbians’ movements and provides literature from all areas of Women’s and Gender studies, Lesbian and Queer Studies. The current library holdings contain about 16,000 titles, mostly in German and English. — The STICHWORT archives contain a broad range of documents, from primary sources on women’s and lesbian groups in Austria — at the present, about 900 groups are documented from the 1970s onwards — to Austrian and international periodicals to posters, photos, objects, audio and visual material.STICHWORT website: www.stichwort.or.at/english
Margit will be speaking on day 1 of the conference
*Contains Nudity: Experiencing the Erotic in the Queer Personal Archive
“The Mario Prizek Archive, housed in the University of Toronto’s Media Commons, is comprised of 25 boxes of photographs, journals, letters, film and ephemera. Prizek, a television producer working for the CBC from 1951 to 1985, collected personal materials from his young adulthood until his death in 2012. His archive contains many markers of his work and success at the CBC, but, the archive also contains much more sensitive material, highlighted in the finding aid with an asterisk. “*contains nudity” serves as a non-judgmental catch-all for materials in this archive such as photographs of friends showering at the cottage in the 1970s, but also for materials that document Prizek’s sexual exploits. How can we theorize this encounter with the erotic or pornographic in the queer personal archive? By putting theories of queer archival practice in conversation with recent affective work in pornography studies, this presentation will make a case for the potentialities of arousal in our affective encounter with the archive.”
Daniel Laurin (University of Toronto)
Daniel Laurin is a PhD student at the Cinema Studies Institute and a member of the Collaborate Graduate Program in the School of Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. His dissertation focuses on straight performers in online gay pornography and the genre’s use of confession its claims to authenticity, and his research interests include porn studies, affect theory, and the queer personal archive.
Daniel will be speaking on day one of the conference.
Auto ethnography as Hiraeth
“Archives are the physical manifestations of our collective understanding of history, a way of proving and so legitimising the existence of cultures, practices and peoples. However, for queer people of colour, entrance into the archive is not easily permitted, the truths of these lives have been, and are presently, obscured, claimed as contingent and/or rendered ‘folk’ – lesser forms of knowledge than traditional archival institutions.
In this paper, we will discuss the ways in which QTPOC artists have employed auto-ethnography in their practices, including our own, to implode the archive. We will explore the ways in which auto-ethnography expands what the archive holds – by claiming, naming and legitimising the lives and truths of those marginalised. Further, auto-ethnography can also provide a space to render the untranslatable, the im/possible, as archive material. It is a strategy of both redefinition and defiance.”
JD Stokely is a trickster-in-training hailing from Philadelphia. Stokely graduated from Central School of Speech and Drama in 2014, with an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice. They devise performances that draw from their love of Theatre of the Oppressed, 90s nostalgia & Blackness. They make space and work with SUPER|object, a curating collective for Queer emerging artists, and with A Collective Apparition, a group whose art is “rooted in the past, but poised on the crux of the present & future.”
Unyoke Igwe is an artist filmmaker living and working in London. She studied at Goldsmiths College for a Masters in non-fiction filmmaking. She came to video art from a radical political activist experience, hoping to develop filmmaking practice as a way of doing politics. Onyeka’s work has been screened in festivals and galleries across the UK, Europe, and North America such as the V&A, London Film Festival and Internationale Kurtzfilmtage Wintherthur.
JD and Onyeka are speaking on day one of the conference.
This week on the blog conference keynote speaker E-J Scott shares some of the findings from the heritage lottery funded Lady Malcolm’s Servants’ Balls project. His interest in identity and Victorian fancy dress was developed whilst researching a rare collection of forgotten House of Worth haute couture and fancy dress (c1880) that was found in the basement of Southside House, Wimbledon Green after having been forgotten for nearly 70 years. His queer curatorial work is currently focussed on establishing the Museum of Transology, and curating the Trans Museum of Underwear exhibition, due to open at the Fashion Space Gallery at London College of Fashion in 2017. On day one of the conference at Bishopsgate Institute, E-J will speak on ‘Researching, Reimagining and Restaging Lady Malcolm’s Servants’ Balls 1923– 1938: Duckie’s queer performative heritage engagement project.’
She Sure Did Have Big Balls.
Lady Malcolm’s Servants’ Ball (1923 – 1938) was the one night of the year that London’s domestic workers were given time off together to meet, drink, dance and – as was reported by the press – “make whoopee”. Many of London’s domestic servants were poor migrants from Wales, Ireland and small rural counties, and often found themselves isolated in their new jobs and stripped of their personal identity. They not only crossed the borders from their country villages to big city employment, but from public life to the private domestic sphere where they were referred to by their employer’s surname, forced to wear a generic uniform and often shared a bedroom. No wonder then, that Lady Malcolm’s ball grew so popular, so quickly. Indeed, from 1930 – 1938 it was held at the Royal Albert Hall where the 5000 tickets repeatedly sold out.
The workers danced the waltz to Percy Chandler’s Orchestra, drank vermouth, ate ham sandwiches and smoked cigarettes. They were awarded prizes including brooches, bags and scarves for their fancy dress costumes by famous entertainers like Ivor Novella and Gladys Cooper (because even though Lady Malcolm always wore a pearl tiara and haute couture, she recognized that parlourmaidsand footmen were unlikely to have owned an evening gown or dinner suit). Many servants dressed as satirical comments on their working class conditions. One girl went as an alarm clock set at 6am, and one fellow dressed up as the “The Porter’s Nightmare” with muddled up luggage tickets stuck to him from head to toe. Another chap dressed as “Vimmy” (the character Lever & Archer had used to advertise their powder scouring agent since 1904) and one girl, possibly a cook, won a prize for her costume of an Empire Christmas pudding inspired by a recipe in the Daily Mail. In 1930, twenty butlers, footmen and chauffeurs came costumed in period dresses from “Eve upwards”, confirming the ball’s increasingly notorious reputation for attracting perverts and homo-sexualists. The rouged rogues were out in public, outed by the public press and causing public outrage! By 1935, tickets stated that “No man dressed as a woman… will be permitted to remain,” and costumes were examined upon entry by private detectives dubbed the “Board of Scrutineers”.
In memory of the brazenness of the London rouged rogues who performed ‘the rough’ (work that used scrubbing brushes) during the interwar years, following the close of the ALMS conference, DUCKIE is restaging the ball on the Friday 24 and Saturday 25 of June. We invite you to cross your own personal boundaries, to join us in tight hipped pants and coloured blouses, to bring your little mirror and your comb, to paint your lips and rouge your cheeks and dance pervertedly in pairs in honour of the working class queans and dykes, in-betweeners and gender transgressors who were arrested for doing the same at Lady Malcolm’s Servants’ Balls during London’s interwar years.
For tickets and more info:
Under the dome in the historic library at Bishopsgate Institute on day one of the conference artists Kevin Wrench and Andrew Franks will be performing as part of the Heritage Lottery funded ‘Lady Malcolm’s Servants’ Balls’ project created by Duckie in association with the Bishopsgate Institute.
Wrench & Franks – “Songs of forbidden passion and that….”
Kevin Wrench and Andrew Franks are artists who make work inspired by queer history. They have often worked with Duckie, and the Schwules (LGBTQ+) Museum in Berlin, making installations, performances and films based on obscure archive material and popular memory. They recently hosted the LGBT History Month late night event at the British Museum, leading the audience on a comic musical tour around queer artefacts in the Museum’s galleries, and are part of Duckie’s ‘Lady Malcolm’s Servants Ball’ coming to Bishopsgate Institute in May and June 2016.
Duckie are a post-queer performance and events collective that create Good Nights Out. For more information visit their website: www.duckie.co.uk
Wrench and Franks will be performing in the Bishopsgate Library on day one of the conference at 6pm, when there will also be library tours available.
One of our keynote speakers, E-J Scott, is leading the research on the project. Look out for further information!