Queer Lives in Archives: Intelligibility and Forms of Memory




Watts, Gina

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


University of Kentucky


Exploring queer archives through a variety of texts and case studies, this paper seeks to understand three primary themes: the departure of traditional archival theory in queer archives, the absence of records and what they might mean for queer history, and a conception of queer time and space contributed to by archival records. Together, these suggest a specific form of intelligibility and memory available to people identifying as queer through the existence of these communal archives, one which reaffirms a history that some were determined to bury and which challenges and expands typical understandings of activism in the archival profession. Finally, this paper seeks to understand how these departures result in a particular political power available to queer archives.



queer archives, archival theory, queer history, LGBTQ communities


Watts, Gina (2018). Queer Lives in Archives: Intelligibility and Forms of Memory. disClosure: A Journal of Social Theory, 27(18).


Rights Holder

Rights License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Rights URI