Mary Kandiuk, ed. Archives and Special Collections as Sites of Contestation. Sacramento, CA: Library Juice Press, 2020. Softcover, 520p. $35.00 (ISBN 9781634000628).

Bradley J. Wiles


In the LIS and Archival Studies disciplines, attempts to operationalize theoretical frameworks that bring to center critical interpretations of social justice, intersectionality, and EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion) are frequently covered in professional literature focusing on institutional policies and programmatic enhancements in real world settings. Much of this discourse incorporates critical theory as both frame and justification, attempting to link ideas that often originate in other disciplines to relevant areas of institutional and professional practice. The chapters in Archives and Special Collections as Sites of Contestation demonstrate the limits of this theory-laden approach as both rhetorical device and impactful process, while still providing a raft of instructive cases that might serve as models to make our institutions and profession more diverse, equitable, and justice-focused.

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