Book Launch | Collecting Activism, Archiving Occupy Wall Street

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Please join us in celebrating the release of Collecting Activism, Archiving Occupy Wall Street, the final book in The Disobedient Museum trilogy by Professor Kylie Message, which will be launched by Professor Paul Pickering, Director of the ANU Research School of Humanities and the Arts.

The Disobedient Museum trilogy - consisting of The Disobedient Museum: Writing at the Edge, Museums and Racism, and Collecting Activism, Archiving Occupy Wall Street - challenges authors and readers to experiment with, innovate, and provoke museums and the intellectual frameworks through which we view sites of public culture. It offers a platform for approaches that radically rethink the relationships between cultural and intellectual dissent and crisis and debates about museums, politics and the broader public sphere.

Collecting Activism, Archiving Occupy Wall Street takes as its primary field site the material collections produced by participants of Occupy Wall Street in 2011 that bear witness to the experience and agency of ‘the 99%’. Modelling strategies for ‘activating’ historical archives and collections-based data, and for engaging with autoethnographic records to represent and analyse the material residue of protest and reform movements today, it is a valuable resource for anyone interested in contemporary cause-based collecting, activist archiving, public history, and the cultural politics and sociology of social reform movements.

Kylie Message is Professor of Public Humanities at the ANU Humanities Research Centre, and Associate Dean (Research) at the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences. Her work focuses specifically on the relationships between cultural organizations, citizenship, government, and political reform movements. Working with interdisciplinary methodologies drawn from History, Anthropology, Sociology and Cultural and Museum Studies, her research investigates the role that museums and other forms of public culture play as sites of political exchange. She has written extensively about the ways that museums across the world have conducted contemporary collecting and been involved in and identified as sites of activism and controversy. Her focus on institutional ethnographies and organizational histories has led to new ways of addressing relationships between racism and contested histories in organizational and public/community settings, and her documentation of curatorial and social activism within multicultural policy climates since the 1970s has made significant contributions to the way various participants and stakeholders understand the political history and impact of culture

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