The Archive: An Instagram Provocation

Here are five provocations for the SCMS 2016, Slow Scholarship: A World-building Event on Thursday evening, March 31:   Laura Isabel Serna ( and myself, Vicki Callahan (, set out to provide some areas for consideration in imagining a careful and compassionate scholarly archival practice given the shifting demands and logistics of academic research.

Day 1: Commodity


Day 2: Time


Day 3: Data


Day 4: Resources


Day 5: Context

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“TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.” H. Zinn A Power Governments Cannot Suppress, p. 270. #slowscholarship #scms16 #archive #InSearchofMabelNormand #connections #context @profserna

A post shared by Vicki Callahan (@vacall) on

About vacall

Vicki Callahan AKA DJ Zoe Trop is a media activist and scholar. She is a Professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts in the Division of Media Arts + Practice. Her research and teaching is focused on the integration of theory and practice with attention to issues in film and media history, feminist studies, digital culture, media strategies for social change, and public scholarship. She is author of Zones of Anxiety: Movement, Musidora, and the Crime Serials of Louis Feuillade (WSUP 2005), editor for the collection, Reclaiming the Archive: Feminism and Film History (WSUP 2010), and co-editor with Virginia Kuhn for the recently published collection, Future Texts: Subversive Performance and Feminist Bodies (Parlor Press 2015). Currently, she is completing work on a monograph on the silent film star, Mabel Normand. With Sarah Atkinson, she is co-authoring, Transmedia: Critical Perspectives on a New Creative and Social Economy (WSUP, 2017). During the summer 2015 Dr. Callahan was a NEH fellow for the inaugural workshop, “Scholarship in Sound and Image,” on Videographic Criticism at Middlebury College, and during the autumn semester she was in residence at University College Cork, Ireland as a Fulbright Scholar with a focus on digital media praxis. She Co-Chaired the SCMS Women’s Caucus from 2014-2016. She is the author and organizer of the collaborative website, Feminism 3.0. With Lina Srivastava, she co-authored the site transmedia, and she is developing the Transmedia Database site with Sarah Atkinson, Jeff Aldrich, Robert Foster. Her teaching blog is DJ Zoe Trop,, where you can find several course blog sites or course summaries.
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