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Sentiments and Feminist Student Activism in the Archival Memory

Class of 2025
Francophone Studies
Gender and Sexuality Studies
Nach Insaurralde is an Argentinian student at St. Lawrence University currently majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Gender and Sexuality Studies. They are a UWC Davis Scholar, focusing on LGBTQ+ issues, leadership, and social sciences, with an interest in Latin American sexuality studies, Trans perspectives, historical memory and archival disciplines...
Summer 2023

Archiving the Dub is a project that seeks to historicize and memorialize a theme cottage in St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY, called ‘The Dub’, which houses a group of students who engage with feminist activism. Through this project, an attempt is made to trace a genealogy of its members’ missions, interests and activities through the digitization of documents dating back to the 1990s, as well as discussing the significance and contribution of these materials to the identity-building of the group. As a current member of the house, I seek to understand my own position in this community by ‘bringing the past to the present’. To do this, I engage with feminist, anthropological, and archival theories in a series of reflections about how precisely this kind of work can transform our perception of genealogical and historical work while engaging actively with the documents that reflect it.

Working on this project, I was able to scan and digitize over 200 documents relating to the Women’s Resource Center/the Dub’s history. Over the two photo albums and the meeting notebook there’s a 27-year span, encompassing the second foundation of our house, as well as the beginning of the transition from The Women’s Resource Center to the Dub. Through the building of a solid theoretical framework, I was able to develop on the importance and meaning of archival work, arriving at some interesting reflections on the role of affects in the archive, the deployment of photographs for our visual memory and identity-building, the different forms the Dub has of narrating its own history, and the role of the Women’s Resource Center at St. Lawrence University ever since its beginnings in the 1970s.

These are only the foundations of what hopefully will be a developing project. I hope to continue working with the digitized materials to create an online collection that can be accessible for the campus community, as well as to continue documenting and exploring our history while anchoring it in the wider context of SLU and feminist activism.