Working with ‘Women Only’: Gendered protocols in the digitization and archiving process

Date
2018-12
Authors
Kell, Jodie
Booker, Lauren
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Hawaii Press
Volume
Number/Issue
Starting Page
1
Ending Page
35
Alternative Title
Abstract
Gender is a significant social category that needs to be taken into consideration when working with Australian Aboriginal communities. Whilst archives hold knowledge systems that encode cultural practices of huge importance to current Australian Indigenous language revitalization projects, women have often been marginalized and excluded due to culturally inappropriate practices of collection, storage, and access. As women working in an archive, the authors provide a gendered perspective on the development of workflow processes that have the potential to re-orientate the relationship with endangered language communities and contribute to the negotiation of agency for Aboriginal women in the archival space. This paper draws on the experience of an Australian archiving service involved in a partnership with an Aboriginal organization to digitize resources and facilitate their return to the originating communities. As part of the partnership, tapes of women’s songs from central Australia were digitized using the skills of a female audio engineer. The paper argues that utilizing a female chain of linguist, anthropologist, musicologist, data administrator, and audio engineer in a participatory loop empowered the women in community to make choices knowing that their cultural property was being handled with respect and in a culturally appropriate manner.
Description
Keywords
gender, archival collections, language documentation, Australia, Aboriginal languages
Citation
Kell, Jodie & Lauren Booker. 2018. Working with ‘Women Only’: Gendered protocols in the digitization and archiving process. Language Documentation & Conservation 12. 461-480.
Extent
20 pages
Format
Geographic Location
Time Period
Related To
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States
Rights Holder
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