Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Zentrum für Transdisziplinäre Geschlechterstudien

Conference Unsettling Archives 2022

The 2022 conference Unsettling Archives focuses on the relationship between narrative and material accounts of the body and the frictions that unsettle and confirm gendered and racialized certainties about archival knowledge production. This includes work with material objects, classificatory orders, and the narrative, socio-material, spatial, and temporal constellations that configure archives and questions concerning memory. How do we deal with the upsetting and violent effects of archive formation and what are possibilities of rendering unstable, unsettling hegemonic archival practices? How can we re-imagine archival methodologies? Can we conceptualize the body as archive or architectures and spaces as unsettling actors of history and memory? What is the role of the personal in counter-archiving? Re-imagining here means reading both with and against the grain, focusing on the postcolonial entanglements and the sexual politics that any form of archiving entails.



Location: Senate Hall (Senatssaal), Main Building, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin,
Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin

Date: July 7th – 9th, 2022


(Registration is closed)


View the abstracts


See the program in the poster/flyer


Thursday, July 7th 2022



10:00 – 10:30

Welcome and Introduction (Elahe Haschemi Yekani, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin / Silvy Chakkalakal, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin / Wallace Best, Princeton University)

10:30 – 11:30

Panel 1
 Absence and Abundance in the Archive


Agata Dziuban (Jagiellonian University) and Todd Sekuler (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
 The Politics of Absence: Withholding and withdrawing stories from the European HIV/AIDS Archive (EHAA)

Pawel Leszkowicz (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań)
 The Biggest Curatorial Challenge: Queering National Museums

Chair: Adela Taleb (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

11:30 – 12:00

Coffee break 

12:00 – 13:30

Panel 2
  Archived Bodies and Bureaucratic Governance


Madison Wolfert (Princeton University)
 Gendering “Improvement”: Race and Labor in the Early American Archive

Jasper Verlinden (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
 Suspicious Narratives: The Body as Archive in Edith Eaton’s Writing

Kiel Ramos Suarez (Linnaeus University/Lund University)
 Colonial Archives and Philippine LGBTIQ History-Writing

Chair: Wendy Warren (Princeton University) 

13:30 – 15:00

Lunch break 

15:00 – 16:30

Panel 3
 Architecture as Archive: Temporal Politics of Space


Dennis Ohm (McGill University, Montreal)
 Architecture and Queer Temporality on New York’s Waterfront

Sina Holst (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
 More-than-ruins, less-than-buildings: On the more-than-human, material, and imaginative composition of architectural archives

Imad Gebrayel (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
 When Shadowplays Shadow Place: Embodied Negotiations of Memories in Sonnenallee

Chair: Silvy Chakkalakal (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) 

16:30 – 17:00

Coffee break 

17:00 – 18:00

Tavia Nyong’o (Yale University)
 At the Utopian Margins of the Flesh: Nao Bustamante with Geo Wyeth

Introduction: Eva Boesenberg (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)



Friday, July 8th 2022

10:00 – 11:30

Panel 4

 Cripping Archival Experience, Cripping Experiential Archives


Jiya Pandya (Princeton University)
 Prosthetics, Petitions, and Paisa: Reading Transnational Disability Management Through the UN IYDP

Catherine Clune Taylor (Princeton University) 
 Who Needs the Birth Control Pill? Intersex Women and Hormone Replacement Therapy 

Milena Bister (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
 Welfare Categories: Classification Processes and Their Effects on Shaping Experiences and Archives of Social Inequality

Chair: Beate Binder (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

11:30 – 12:00

Coffee break 

12:00 – 13:30

Panel 5
 Narrated Bodies and
Autofictional Knowledge Production


Alexis Ferguson (Princeton University)
 Narratives of Sex: Reading Gender in 19th Century Physiology

Anja Sunhyun Michaelsen (Braunschweig University of Art)
 Her Shape and His Hand: Postcolonial Bodies in the Archive of Intercountry Adoption

Chair: Elahe Haschemi Yekani (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

13:30 – 15:00

Lunch break 

15:00 – 16:00

Panel 6
Archives of Abjection: Narrating Resistance Through Anger
 and Disgust


Anne Potjans (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
 Anger – Abjection – Empowerment: Archival Practices and Black Female Subjectivity in the Poetry of Wanda Coleman

Susanne Klimroth (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
 Hans Henny Jahnn’s Medea Between Racist Misogyny and Empowerment – Corporal Disgust as Aesthetic Tilt Figure

Chair: Ulrike Vedder (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

16:00 – 16:30

Coffee break 

16:30 – 17:30

Round table conference reflection
Wallace Best and Tera Hunter (Princeton University), Silvy Chakkalakal and Elahe Haschemi Yekani (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

17:30 – 18:00

Strategic Partnership Meeting (non-public)



Saturday, July 9th 2022

15:00 – 16:30

Private guided tour at the SMU (Schwules Museum Berlin/Queer Museum) by Thao Ho
Exhibition "Encantadas" - Lützowstraße 73, 10785 Berlin

16:30 – 18:00

Panel 7
 Archiving Queer BIPOC Histories (Public SMU Program)


Roundtable with:
 Peter Rehberg (SMU), Thao Ho (SMU), Tarek Shukrallah (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)