Provenance in Place

A symposium

12pm – 5pm Eastern Time

Monday March 7, 2022

Register in advance for this meeting: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the symposium. This event will not be recorded.

Globally, the archival legacies of colonialism look much the same today as they did sixty years ago. Records displaced to Europe have rarely been repatriated, and in still colonised countries, the record-making and -keeping practices of the colonizer continue to attempt to inscribe settler power over Indigenous sovereignty. How to imagine a future in which the archival legacies of colonialism are redressed?

Powerfully articulating a new conceptualization of provenance as “provenance in place”, JJ Ghaddar offers “an understanding of provenance that embraces the commitment to undo the colonial occupation of one people’s land by another today, and the archival legacies of such occupations in the past”. Against the globalization of western European archival tenets “established… when the vast majority of people within and beyond Europe were not at the table”, Ghaddar offers a vision of provenance that is grounded in the anticolonial ethos of the Third World project, and Indigenous feminist methodologies foregrounding the importance of thinking about place in our research and practice (see in particular Tuck and McKenzie 2015; Tuck and Yang 2014, 2012).

The Archival Technologies Lab at the City University of New York, together with the School of Information Management at Dalhousie University, is holding a virtual symposium to discuss provenance-in-place and its possibilities.


Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang (2012) Decolonization Is Not a Metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeniety, Education and Society 1(1):1-40.

Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang (2014) Unbecoming Claims: Pedagogies of Refusal in Qualitative ResearchQualitative Inquiry 20(6): 811-818.

Eve Tuck and Marcia McKenzie (2015) Place in research: theory, methodology, and methods (New York, London: Routledge).


All times in Eastern Time:

12:00              Welcome

12:10              Keynote: “Provenance in Place” JJ Ghaddar (Dalhousie University)

13:00              Respondents: TL Cowan (University of Toronto), Michelle Caswell (University of California, Los Angeles), Tonia Sutherland (University of Hawai’i at Manoa)

13:50              Break

14:00              Places as Provenance

                        Moderator: Nadia Caidi (University of Toronto)

                                    Maria Montenegro (University of California, Irvine)

                                    Forget Chaterera-Zambuko (Sorbonne University, Abu Dhabi)

                                    Raymond Frogner (University of Manitoba)

                                    James Lowry (Queens College, CUNY)

15:00              Break

15:10              Imagining Provenance Otherwise

                        Moderator: Jamie A. Lee (University of Arizona)

                                    Gracen Brilmyer (McGill University)

                                    Riah Lee Kinsey (Queens College, CUNY)

                                    Jessica Lapp (University of Toronto)

                                    Jess Guijarro (Queens College, CUNY)

16:10              Break

16:20              Roundtable Discussion

17:00              Close


JJ Ghaddar

Dr. Jamila Ghaddar is an Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University’s School of Information Management. She is a SSHRC-funded Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Manitoba, where she works with Raymond Frogner at the National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation and Dr. Greg Bak at the History Department. She is also an Adjunct Fellow at UoM’s St. John’s College. She holds a PhD and Master of Information from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information. Her work has appeared in the premier academic journals Archival Science; Library Quarterly; and Archivaria. Her 2016 publication in the latter on the legal battles over archives between Canada and the Truth & Reconciliation Commission won the Association of Canadian Archivists’ W. Kaye Lamb Prize for best article. Most recently, she completed a chapter for the forthcoming book, Disputed Archival Heritage. These interventions form part of a larger intellectual project that interrogates the complex dynamics between race, colonialism, gender, history, memory, citizenship, nationalism and archives in national spaces and international arenas like Canada, France, Algeria, Lebanon, UNESCO and the Arab League. Ghaddar has been awarded a Senior Doctoral Fellowship with UofT’s Equity Department, the ALA’s Eugene Garfield Dissertation Fellowship, and a multiyear Doctoral Fellowship from Canada’s Social Science & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

TL Cowan

T.L.’s research focuses on cultural and intellectual economies and networks of minoritized digital media and performance practices. Notable commissions for their creative-critical work include the PlugIn Institute of Contemporary Art in Winnipeg, Queens Museum in New York City, and Nuit Blanche in Toronto. She is currently completing two monographs, Transmedial Drag and Other Cross-Platform Cabaret Methods, and The Needs of Others: Trauma, Media & Disorder.

T.L.’s most recent essays are published in Moving Archives(2020), The Routledge Companion to Digital Humanities & Art History (2020), American Quarterly (2020) First Monday (2018),Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies (2016), and as part of Alexandra Juhasz’s #100 Hard Truths.

T.L. frequently collaborates with Jasmine Rault. Together, they hold a SSHRC Insight Grant (2019-2024), entitled “Networked Intimate Publics: Feminist and Queer Practices of Scale, Safety and Access,” and a SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2017-2020), entitled “Building a Digital Research Ethics Collaboratory for Minor(itized) Materials.” Cowan and Rault co-direct 2 online research environments, the Cabaret Commons and the Digital Research Ethics Collaboratory (DREC). They are also co-editors of a “Metaphors as Meaning and Method in Technoculture,” a special section of Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience (Fall 2022) and a book entitled Heavy Processing, about trans- feminist and queer digital research methods and ethics. You can see early versions of Heavy Processing on the DREC.

T.L. is also a co-director of the Critical Digital Methods Institute (CDMI) at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

Michelle Caswell

Michelle Caswell is an Associate Professor of Archival Studies in the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is also an affiliated faculty member with the Department of Asian American Studies. Her work helps to build a critical feminist approach to archival studies. She is the Director of UCLA’s Community Archives Lab and the co-founder of the South Asian American Digital Archive.  In 2017, she co-edited a special issue of The Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies on Critical Archival Studies. She is also the lead organizer of the Archivists Against Collective. Her most recent book, Urgent Archives: Enacting Liberatory Memory Work, was published by Routledge in 2021. 

Tonia Sutherland

Dr. Tonia Sutherland is assistant professor in the Department of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and the Director of the SOURCE Hawaiʻi Research and Community Engagement Lab. Prior to joining the faculty at UHM, Sutherland was an assistant professor in the College of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama. Sutherland holds a PhD and an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Computing and Information (formerly the School of Information Studies), and a BA in history, performance studies, and cultural studies from Hampshire College. Global in scope, Suther­land’s research focuses on entanglements of technology and culture, with particular emphases on critical and liberatory work within the fields of archival studies, digital studies, and science and technology studies (STS). Sutherland is the author of Digital Remains: Race and the Digital Afterlife (forthcoming from University of California Press). She is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Critical Race and Digital Studies at New York University and a member of the Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2)’s Scholar’s Council at UCLA. 

Nadia Caidi

Nadia Caidi is a Professor at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, Canada. Her research focuses on human information behavior and information policy. Her contributions aim to inform and promote a critical LIS lens and a public interest approach to the information fields. Her book (co-edited with Keren Dali), Humanizing LIS Education and Practice: Diversity by Design was published by Routledge in 2021. Caidi was the 2011 President of the Canadian Association for Information Science, and the 2016 President of the Association for Information Science & Technology. In 2019, she received the ALISE/Pratt-Severn Faculty Innovation Award. 

Maria Montenegro

Originally from Chile, María Montenegro holds a Ph.D in Information Studies from UCLA and is currently a UC Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Irvine’s Global and International Studies Department, where she’ll begin her appointment as assistant professor in 2022. Her research sits at the intersection of Indigenous studies, critical archival theory and tribal law and policy, and is in close conversation with the Indigenous data sovereignty movement. She has more than ten years of experience working and collaborating with Indigenous peoples in community-based, museum, archival and legal contexts. Her research and work have been supported by UCLA’s Year Dissertation Fellowship, a UC Critical Mission Studies Multicampus Grant, a Huntington Library Research Fellowship, and American Philosophical Society’s Phillips Fund for Native American Research. She has published articles in Archival Science, the Journal of Documentation, the Interdisciplinary Journal of Information Studies, and chapters in two Routledge edited volumes. María is currently the project manager of the California Native Mukurtu Hub at UCLA’s American Indian Studies Center and the digital archivist of UCLA’s repatriation program Carrying our Ancestors Home(COAH). She is also a consultant for Chile’s Ministry of Cultures’ Department of Indigenous Peoples and Chile’s National Archives in matters of cultural revitalization, digital return and Indigenous knowledge organization.  

Forget Chaterera-Zambuko

Forget Chaterera-Zambuko is an Assistant Professor in Records Management at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi. She previously lectured at the National University of Science & Technology and Midlands State University in Zimbabwe. She is a rated researcher by the National Research Foundation of South Africa and a co-editor for Archives and Records Journal. Her research interests include displaced archives, access to archives and the application of emerging technologies in records and archives management. 

Raymond Frogner

Raymond Frogner graduated with an M.A. in history from the University of Victoria and an M.A.S. from the University of British Columbia. He was the archivist for private records at the University of Alberta where he taught a class in archives and Indigenous records. He was formerly an archivist for private records at the Royal BC Museum where his portfolio focused on Indigenous records. He is currently the Head of Archives at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. He is also the co-chair of the International Council for Archives Committee on Indigenous matters. In 2019 he was the principal author of the ICAs Tandanya/Adelaide Declaration concerning Indigenous self-determination and archives.  He has published two articles in Archivaria on the topics of archives and Indigenous rights. Both articles have won the W. Kaye Lamb Prize. He continues to publish and present on issues of Indigenous identity and social memory. In 2020 he was nominated a Fellow of the Association of Canadian Archivists. 

James Lowry

James Lowry is Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies at Queens College, City University of New York, where he is also director of the Archival Technologies Lab (ATL). He is an Honorary Research Fellow and former co-director of the Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies, where he taught following a ten year career in archives and records management. His research is concerned with government information, particularly in colonial, post-colonial and diasporic contexts. His current projects include Displacements and Diasporas, exploring the technical and theoretical problems connected with disputes and claims over displaced archives. James is convenor of Archival Discourses, the International Intellectual History of Archival Studies research network, and he is editor of the Routledge Studies in Archives book series.

Jamie A. Lee

Jamie A. Lee is Associate Professor of Digital Culture, Information, and Society in the School of Information – Arizona’s iSchool – at the University of Arizona, where their research and teaching attend to critical archival theory and methodologies, multimodal media-making contexts, storytelling, and bodies. Lee is an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Early Career Grantee through which they are conducting research on community-based archives and archival description practices as well as a Faculty Fellow of the Haury Program for Environment and Social Justice. Lee has published in Archivaria, Archival Science, the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, Peitho: Journal of the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition, and Media, Communications, and Cultural Studies. They have also published book chapters related to archival studies, media studies, art & culture, and the history of American sexuality. Lee’s current book project, Producing the Archival Body, (Routledge, forthcoming) interrogates how power circulates and is deployed in archival contexts in order to build critical understandings of how deeply archives influence and shape the production of knowledge and human subjectivities.

Lee directs the Arizona Queer Archives, the Digital Storytelling & Oral History Lab, and co-directs the Climate Alliance Mapping Project. They are an award-winning social justice documentary filmmaker, archivist, and scholar committed to decolonizing methodologies and asset-driven approaches to community participatory projects that are produced with communities in ways that will be relevant and beneficial.

Gracen Brilmyer

Dr. Gracen Brilmyer is Assistant Professor at McGill University’s School of Information Studies and Director of the Disability Archives Lab. They received their PhD from the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), with a Certificate in Gender Studies. Dr. Brilmyer’s research lies at the intersection of disability studies, archival studies, and the history of science, centering on the history of natural history museums and their archives.

Riah Lee Kinsey (they/them or he/him)

Riah Lee Kinsey is an Archives and Preservation student at the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies at CUNY Queens College. A black, queer, transgender scholar, Riah’s primary focus is the relationship between marginalized communities and archives of historical knowledge. In their work, Riah seeks to confront assumptions about the archive’s capacity to “hold” marginalized histories, while exploring the stakes of archival visibility in an increasingly digital world.

Jessica Lapp

Jessica Lapp completed her PhD at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information in 2020, and was awarded a SSHRC Postdoc in 2021. Her research conceptualizes feminist records creation, expanded notions of provenance and records attribution, and the creation and circulation of digital records of feminist organizing. Jessica’s work has been published in Archival Science, Information & Culture, and Australian Feminist Studies. She is currently working on a special issue of Archivaria co-edited with Jennifer Douglas, Mya Ballin, and Sadaf Ahmadbeigi on person-centred archival theory and praxis.

Jess Guijarro

Jess Guijarro is a researcher and the co-ordinator of the Archival Technologies Lab at Queens College, CUNY. Her current research explores remediative re-description theory and praxis within libraries and archives. She earned an MLS from Queens College, CUNY in 2021 and a BA from the University of Washington.