Jarret Drake delivers the keynote address at the 44th annual Scholar and Feminist Conference, “The Politics and Ethics of the Archive.” Drawing connections between his work as an archivist to his work in prisions, Drake’s keynote, “Graveyards of Exclusion: Archives, Prisons, and the Bounds of Belong […]

Drake was one of the most impressive speakers we had when I was a graduate student at UCLA, while I was taking an information science class that I squeezed in as an elective. He got me really thinking about competing archives, archives as a site of power, and contested histories. It’s an incredible blessing to me that I have been able to access so much of my family history, and that there even is still a family cemetary that I can visit. It acts as a keyhole to a ground’s-eye view of history. Drake also got me thinking about how kinship is defined, and about how genealogy is used for land claims, group affiliation, but then how that grammar genealogy can be used to texture a group mythology and paint it as fact. It’s difficult to count the number of religions that use the grammar of genealogy to claim to be descended from God.

In this talk Drake clued me in to EAC-CPF which might be a thread for new research in the way that GEDCOM was for me last year, but just last night I had already told myself I’d put this stuff down and try to concentrate on practice for a while, since research has become a galloping horse that drags me away whatever is directly in front of me.