115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

Queer Prized Writing: A Queer Archive of Prize-Winning Student Writing

Pamela Demory, University of California, Davis

I am a past editor of a longstanding, open access, interdisciplinary undergraduate journal at UC Davis: Prized Writing. For more than 25 years, we have been publishing extraordinary student writing, nearly all of which is available online. Within this large archive, I have identified a "mini archive" of pieces that address LGBTQ issues.  I propose to analyze this collection as a “queer archive.”

Proposal: 

Queer Prized Writing: A Queer Archive of Prize-Winning Student Writing

 

I am a past editor of a longstanding, open access, interdisciplinary undergraduate journal at UC Davis: Prized Writing. For more than 25 years, we have been publishing extraordinary student writing, nearly all of which is available online. Within this large archive, I have identified a "mini archive" of pieces that address LGBTQ issues.  I propose to analyze this collection as a “queer archive.” Charles E. Morris and K. J. Rawson write that “[f]or queer archival projects, what is of enduring value seems to be closely tied to that which evidences the queer past, which means that queer archives often function as bodies of evidence” (77). My goal is to study this queer archive of student writing to see what it can tell us about the recent history of queerness at UC Davis, and also what it might tell us about the future. As Jose Muñoz writes about archival work, “These ephemeral traces, flickering illuminations from other times and places, are sites that . . . assist those of us who wish to follow queerness’s promise, its still unrealized potential, to see something else” (Cruising Utopia 28). These pieces come from a variety of disciplines—history, English, Asian-American studies, Chicana/o studies, journalism, and writing in the health sciences and in biology—and they illustrate a variety of genres—memoir, research, literary analysis, feature article. And in different ways, they all address questions of the visibility (or lack thereof) of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. One of the associated results of my work on this paper will be to make this mini archive accessible online for students and instructors to use in future.

 

Works Cited

Morris, Charles E., and Rawson, K. J. “Queer Archives/Archival Queers.” Theorizing Histories of Rhetoric. Ed. Michelle Ballif. Carbondale: Southern Ill. UP, 2013.

Muñoz, José Estaban. Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. NYU Press, 2009.