Communicating My Research – Queer Armenian Archives

One of the most important goals I have for this project is to make it accessible for readers who are unfamiliar with the experiences, identities, and cultural structures that make up Queer Armenian diaspora life within the US. I don’t claim to fully represent the experiences of all others who share in these identities (“Queer,” “Armenian,” “diaporic”); rather, I want to make clear the nuances and varied experiences that exist and add to Queer Armenian archives. I hope to reach out to anyone who might feel isolated and unauthorized as a steward of their identities, and suggest methods of reclaiming or reauthorizing oneself as valid stewards of their varied histories. I plan to do this by first sharing a glossary of terms and a review of conceptual histories on identity terminology used in my paper. I will follow this with a review that explains how I approach archival work as liberatory work. I want to make sure that what I’m sharing unites readers’ intellect with their emotion—so much of this work is guided by feeling, by what is hidden, by what seems intangible but is visceral. I use art to help fill in the gaps where writing meets its limit. This week, I begin production with my archival materials and attempt to creatively articulate the concepts and concrete materials that I’ve been working with throughout the summer. 

one of my main archival objects: a cassette tape from my Beirut family, recorded between 1979-1981 (dates are estimated based on interviews with my grandmother, and subject matter on the tape)

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