Chasing Charley, Finding Reed: Reaching Toward the Ghosts of the Archive
The archive consists of memories, documents, and images waiting to be curated into a story. In this article, the author collates archival object encounters into a transgender 'ghost story' that marks the impossibility of a straightforward history of the subject, relying instead on embodied encounters with archive objects, or the remnants (ghostly and tangible) of archival subjects. Following the materials of Charley Parkhurst and Reed Erickson, the author makes connections where none previously existed, asking: How do we put life back into the materials of the dead? What do the traces and memories of these ghosts offer the living? What do archive objects activate in the eyes that see them, the ears that listen, and the hearts that race or slow with each haptic encounter? Following these questions, this article pieces together a different kind of narrative history and transition story through the unexpected encounters with the archive and its ghosts.
Cerankowski, K.J. 2020. "Chasing Charley, Finding Reed: Reaching Toward the Ghosts of the Archive." Journal of Visual Culture 19(2): 293-303.
Journal of Visual Culture
Comparative American Studies
Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies
Affect, Archive, Archive studies, Hauntology, Materiality, Phenomenology, Transgender, Transmasculinity