The call for social justice and rise of postmodernism in the second half of the 20th century forced the critical re-evaluation of the traditional archive and its presumed neutral role in the collection and creation of history. Reappraisal of traditional archive theory and practice was forced by heightened critical conscious among the field and its constituents. This literature review examines contemporary methodologies and methods influenced by the postmodern movement and call for social justice in the archive. Affect theory, radical empathy, and queer/ed methodology provide new frameworks for the thinking about the archive space and work towards the creation of a more diverse and inclusive archive. The collection of oral histories and participatory, community archiving practices provide concrete methods for employing the aforementioned theories. This paper purports that these ideas may be better framed within the context of the post-postmodern movement of metamodernism and calls for the continual evaluation of archival theory and practice within this vein.

About Author

Autumn Wetli has worked at the University of Michigan Library in various capacities since 2013. She graduated with her MLIS from Wayne State University in December 2018.