New Publication: “Useful In/Stability” in Radical History Review

I am delighted to announce the publication of “Useful Instability: the Queer Social and Spatial Production of the Lesbian Herstory Archives” in Radical History Review. The article is in the second of a two part special issue on “Queering Archives” titled “Queering Archives” Intimate Tracings,” both of which were edited by Daniel Marshall, Zeb Tortorici, and Kevin Murphy. The abstract and full citation are below, and a link to an open access version of this article is above. My thanks again to the Lesbian Herstory Archives for the work they do and place they keep that inspired this piece!

Queer theory’s embrace of instability paints stabilizing practices as normalizing and unjust. Rather than upholding a stance of opposition by championing instability alone, what can be gleaned for queer theory by examining the tension of the in/stability dialectic? This essay reflects on the author’s own embodied experience as researcher within the social and spatial dimensions of the Lesbian Herstory Archives (LHA). Informed by critical geographic studies and queer theories, the author suggests that the usefulness of in/stability—all at once together and in conflict—is part of the work toward justice that results when the archive sits in the juxtaposition rather than choose a side within the binary. The resultant practice of useful in/stability suggests a turn for queer theory and analyses by examining and struggling with concepts rather than succumbing to binarial mores.

Full citation:

2015. Gieseking, J. Useful Instability: the Queer Social and Spatial Production of the Lesbian Herstory Archives. Radical History Review [Queering Archives: Intimate Tracings issue], 2015(122): 25-37; doi:10.1215/01636545-2849504.