For decades, lesbian feminists across the United States and Canada have created information to build movements and survive in a world that doesn't want them. In Information Activism: A Queer History of Lesbian Media Technologies (Duke UP, 2020), Cait McKinney traces how these women developed communication networks, databases, and digital archives that formed the foundation for their work. Often learning on the fly and using everything from index cards to computers, these activists brought people and their visions of justice together to organize, store, and provide access to information. Focusing on the transition from paper to digital-based archival techniques from the 1970s to the present, McKinney shows how media technologies animate the collective and unspectacular labor that sustains social movements, including their antiracist and trans-inclusive endeavors. By bringing sexuality studies to bear on media history, McKinney demonstrates how groups with precarious access to control over information create their own innovative and resourceful techniques for generating and sharing knowledge.
Sohini Chatterjee is a PhD Student in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at Western University, Canada. Her work has recently appeared in South Asian Popular Culture and Fat Studies.
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