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Writing American sexual histories
Author: Barry Reay

The archive has assumed a new significance in the history of sex, and this book visits a series of such archives, including the Kinsey Institute’s erotic art; gay masturbatory journals in the New York Public Library; the private archive of an amateur pornographer; and one man’s lifetime photographic dossier on Baltimore hustlers. The subject topics covered are wide-ranging: the art history of homoeroticism; casual sex before hooking-up; transgender; New York queer sex; masturbation; pornography; sex in the city. The duality indicated by the book’s title reflects its themes. It is an experiment in writing an American sexual history that refuses the confines of identity sexuality studies, spanning the spectrum of queer, trans, and the allegedly ‘normal’. What unites this project is a fascination with sex at the margins, refusing the classificatory frameworks of heterosexuality and homosexuality, and demonstrating gender and sexual indecision and flexibility. And the book is also an exploration of the role of the archive in such histories. The sex discussed is located both in the margins of the archives, what has been termed the counterarchive, but also, importantly, in the pockets of recorded desire located in the most traditional and respectable repositories. The sexual histories in this book are those where pornography and sexual research are indistinguishable; where personal obsession becomes tomorrow’s archive. The market is potentially extensive: those interested in American studies, sexuality studies, contemporary history, the history of sex, psychology, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, queer studies, trans studies, pornography studies, visual studies, museum studies, and media studies.

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Sam Rohdie

Archive Jean-Luc Godard tends to break up any pattern or configuration he gives shape to in his films or whose shape he happens to encounter or discover as it is being formed or perceived through the lens of the camera or at the editing table. The images and sounds in Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988–98) are mostly fragments from other unities cut out from an original context and, even if recognisable, something new. Because these elements are so particular, it makes it difficult to say what precisely they represent or what they might signify beyond themselves. Their

in Film modernism
Ariella Azoulay

151 Photographic archives and archival entities 11 Ariella Azoulay We often hear people qualifying photographs as ‘vernacular’, ‘subversive’, ‘official’, ‘propagandistic’ or ‘political’. The use of such adjectives to classify photographs is based on the institutionalisation of one particular mode of photography. Within this framework, photography is approached as a productive practice led by individuals who act as authors. The products these authors generate are conceived as signed and sealed, and can be classified independently of the event in which they

in Image operations
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David Louis Bowie’s New York diaries, 1978–93
Barry Reay

6 Sex in the archives: David Louis Bowie’s New York diaries, 1978–93 There are some very queer diaries in the not always queer archives of the Manuscripts and Archives Division in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library of the New York Public Library. They are embargoed until 2068, but I was granted special permission to consult them. I have trouble recalling what initially piqued my interest but it must have been the catalogue entry: ‘David Louis Bowie Diaries 1978–1993 .  .  . Illustrated diaries of the daily activities and sexual encounters of a Queens

in Sex in the archives
Open Access (free)
Bryony Dixon

screenable condition. As an archivist at the British Film Institute, I’ll try to explain what survives and why, and some of the really awkward technical, preservation and access problems. I must start with the nature of the collections relating to this period of film history, how they came to be where they are, and what was going on at that time in the international archiving world. The 1950s is a particularly

in British cinema of the 1950s
The global exposition and the museum
Jane Chin Davidson

The archive of Chineseness The archive of Chineseness: the global exposition and the museum In 2012, the Shanghai Biennale opened at the new mega museum, the Power Station of Art, the massive seven-story, 450,000-square-foot former electrical plant that was transformed into a museum in the model of London’s Tate Modern. Museums have become important civic centers and tourist sites for international cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, contributing to the rapid development of China’s metropolitan areas, and attaining the symbolic status that they have long

in Staging art and Chineseness
Open Access (free)
Film festivals and the revival of Classic Hollywood
Julian Stringer

-visual culture. The international festival circuit now plays a significant role in the re-circulation and re-commodification of ‘old’ and ‘classic’ movies. Taking the form of revivals, retrospectives, special gala screenings, and archive-driven events, the contemporary exhibition of such historical artefacts provides a powerful means of extending cinephilia into the second century of cinema through a process

in Memory and popular film
Barry Reay

1 The lure of the archive From long-forgotten first encounters to more memorable recent incidents, archives are central to the experiences of many – though now not all – ­historians. Carolyn Steedman’s famous book Dust (2001), which originated as a study of the archive but turned out to be about the writing of history, begins both with an observation on the paradigmatic role of the archive in the craft of the historian and the recognition that many historians never experience archival dust.1 Ironically, I am writing about the lure of the archive, in this

in Sex in the archives
Andy Campbell

80 4 Bound together Yellow, or reading archives diagonally Archive: The Leather Archives & Museum It’s curious that the great thing that’s developed out of gay liberation, one of its most visible artifacts, is all those bars where guys go and piss on each other […] Kate Millett1 It was a specific death that established the Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M). Dom Orejudos, the prolific leather artist who went under the pseudonym Etienne, died in the fall of 1991 from AIDS. Reading the obituary printed in the Chicago Tribune, however, one would be forgiven for

in Bound together

This book explores the place of memory in post-apartheid South Africa by analysing state sanctioned-performances of the nation. It first explores how the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) archive was created, and what it means to contemporary South Africa. The book then explores creative responses to the TRC. It examines individual narratives that have become iconic; asking why these have been chosen to represent the experiences of the broader majority. It analyses how contemporary cultural practitioners are particularly exploring various non-realistic, highly performative forms in conjunction with verbatim narratives to reflect on diverse lived realities in South Africa. The inherited apartheid archives embody particular narratives of South Africa, especially those that defined separate cultural identities, with their relative worth and histories. The way these archives of memory were constructed and controlled is important, especially insofar as they affected the social structure of the nation, beyond apartheid legislation. The book looks at how at moments of political crisis or transition, specific narratives of history, from particular cultural perspectives, have been performed in public spaces to define national identities. It also explores how Mbeki used the South Africa-Mali project, within the context of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) to extend the imagined boundaries of the nation. Finally, the book explores contemporary popular performance and theatrical engagements with history and memory.