Just Portrayal: Exploring visibility in archives, library resources and library work


“Coming out, going out, photographing, and being photographed were intertwined activities through which new forms of queerness and community became visible.” -  excerpt from current TUAG exhibition description for As the World Burns: Queer Photography and Nightlife in Boston.

Representational justice can loosely be described as the politics of visibility. It surfaces questions not just about who is represented but how and by whom they are represented; it places emphasis on visibility as a mechanism for constructing narratives about ourselves and others.

This Spring, Tisch Library will be exploring representational justice through a series of loosely connected events, posts and workshops. Through this series we will consider:

  • What are the ways that becoming visible can help create and shape our understanding of the stories, connections, and communities that are not only possible but already in play? 
  • How can being visible have real world impacts which might require forms of visibility that obscure, withhold, embellish or deceive? 
  • How do archives, library resources and library work contribute to what worlds are (or aren’t) visible to our users?  

The series will culminate with the Greater Boston Digital Research and Pedagogy Symposium whose keynote speaker is K.J Rawson.  Rawson’s work focuses on archives as key sites of cultural power and he studies the rhetorical work of queer and transgender archival collections in brick-and-mortar and digital spaces.


This page highlights both library and non-library events that we feel contribute to this conversation.  It will update periodically to highlight posts and recently posted events or workshops.  Have an event or resource to add to this page?  Reach out to tischdds@tufts.edu.

Resources, events and workshops