In Visible Archives

In Visible Archives

Queer and Feminist Visual Culture in the 1980s

Margaret Galvan

Analyzing how 1980s visual culture provided a vital space for women artists to theorize and visualize their own bodies and sexualities

336 Pages, 6 x 9 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781517903244
  • Published: September 26, 2023
BUY
  • Hardcover
  • 9781517903237
  • Published: September 26, 2023
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  • eBook
  • 9781452969831
  • Published: September 26, 2023
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Details

In Visible Archives

Queer and Feminist Visual Culture in the 1980s

Margaret Galvan

ISBN: 9781517903244

Publication date: September 26th, 2023

336 Pages

65 black and white illustrations

8 x 5

"Margaret Galvan asks all the right questions about queer and feminist visual storytelling from the 1980s: Where were these works situated? How did communities use them? How have they been archived? Both commentary upon as well as an integral part of the activist project begun by the creators themselves, In Visible Archives helps keep these remarkable works visible for us all."—Justin Hall, California College of the Arts, editor of No Straight Lines

"This wonderful book demonstrates the critical importance of community-based archives. Utilizing primary source materials, Margaret Galvan has produced an original and consequential contribution to the history of the feminist sex wars, and her attention to the visual aspects of those documents provides long overdue recognition to the period’s artists, designers, and activists."—Gayle Rubin, University of Michigan

 


Analyzing how 1980s visual culture provided a vital space for women artists to theorize and visualize their own bodies and sexualities

In 1982, the protests of antiporn feminists sparked the censorship of the Diary of a Conference on Sexuality, a radical and sexually evocative image-text volume whose silencing became a symbol for the irresolvable feminist sex wars. In Visible Archives documents the community networks that produced this resonant artifact and others, analyzing how visual culture provided a vital space for women artists to theorize and visualize their own bodies and sexualities.

Margaret Galvan explores a number of feminist and cultural touchstones—the feminist sex wars, the HIV/AIDS crisis, the women in print movement, and countercultural grassroots periodical networks—and examines how visual culture interacts with these pivotal moments. She goes deep into the records to bring together a decade’s worth of research in grassroots and university archives that include comics, collages, photographs, drawings, and other image-text media produced by women, including Hannah Alderfer, Beth Jaker, Marybeth Nelson, Roberta Gregory, Lee Marrs, Alison Bechdel, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Nan Goldin.

The art highlighted in In Visible Archives demonstrates how women represented their bodies and sexualities on their own terms and created visibility for new, diverse identities, thus serving as blueprints for future activism and advocacy—work that is urgent now more than ever as LGBTQ+ and women’s rights face challenges and restrictions across the nation.

Margaret Galvan is assistant professor of English at the University of Florida.

Contents

Introduction: Making Visible Archives

1. The Collage Activists: Hannah Alderfer, Beth Jaker, and Marybeth Nelson Frame the Feminist Sex Wars

2. The Comics Visionaries: Lee Marrs’s and Roberta Gregory’s Underground Feminism

3. The Newspaper Cartoonist: Alison Bechdel’s Queer Grassroots Networks

4. The Editor and Pedagogue: Gloria E. Anzaldúa’s Public Drawing

5. The Photographer and Curator: Nan Goldin’s Witness to HIV/AIDS

Epilogue

Acknowledgments

Notes

Bibliography

Index