Margaret GalvanSep 16, 2023
In Visible Archives
Queer and Feminist Visual Culture in the 1980s
University of Minnesota Press 2023
In In Visible Archives: Queer and Feminist Visual Culture in the 1980s (U Minnesota Press, 2023), Margaret Galvan explores a number of feminist and cultural touchstones—the feminist sex wars, the HIV/AIDS crisis, the women in print movement, and countercultural grassroots periodical networks—and examines how visual culture interacts with these pivotal moments. She goes deep into the records to bring together a decade’s worth of research in grassroots and university archives that include comics, collages, photographs, drawings, and other image-text media produced by women, including Hannah Alderfer, Beth Jaker, Marybeth Nelson, Roberta Gregory, Lee Marrs, Alison Bechdel, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Nan Goldin.
Through all of this, Galvan documents the community networks that produced visual culture, analyzing how this material provided a vital space for women artists to theorize and visualize their own bodies and sexualities. The art highlighted in In Visible Archives demonstrates how women represented their bodies and sexualities on their own terms and created visibility for new, diverse identities, thus serving as blueprints for future activism and advocacy—work that is urgent now more than ever as LGBTQ+ and women’s rights face challenges and restrictions across the nation.
Jen Hoyer is Technical Services and Electronic Resources Librarian at CUNY New York City College of Technology. Jen edits for Partnership Journal and organizes with the TPS Collective. She is co-author of What Primary Sources Teach: Lessons for Every Classroom and The Social Movement Archive.