Jamie A. Lee, Ph.D.
As Assistant Professor of Digital Culture, Information, and Society in Arizona’s iSchool at the University of Arizona, I attend to critical archival theory and methodologies, multimodal media-making contexts, storytelling, bodies, and ongoing analyses of the ways archives and bodies are mutually constitutive. My work is intricately woven through the intersections of archival studies, media studies, digital and visual culture, information, and society. Studying hands-on archival work along with archival theory and practice that emerges from community contexts, I engage theories of affect and embodiment, archival and queer theory, haptic visuality, somatechnics, and decolonizing methodologies. My interdisciplinary approach considers bodies-as-archives and archives-as-bodies in and through shifting temporalities that challenge how we know, produce, and engage archives and their records.
I am currently working on a single-authored monograph titled Producing the Archival Body, which is contracted for publication in 2020 through Routledge’s new series Studies on Archives and Record-Keeping. I am continuing to develop the concept of the archival body – what I consider to be those bodies that produce and constitute the archives along with the bodies of knowledge therein that, in turn, shape those who access the archives. My book project extends the archival studies discipline’s focus on both practice and theory to interrogate how power circulates and is deployed in archival contexts to build critical understandings of how deeply archives influence and shape human subjects and the production of knowledge. My distinct engagement of archival studies through a framework of the body offers a new theoretical strain of inquiry that moves the archival studies discipline towards a more inclusive and relational understanding of archives. This critical focus has informed my recent publications in the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies; Archival Science; and Media, Communication, and Cultural Studies Journal.
In early 2017, I founded and continue to direct the Digital Storytelling & Oral History Lab, DS|OH Lab, as part of my research. The DS|OH Lab is designed to harness the power of people and ideas to creatively engage digital storytelling and oral history production. The DS|OH Lab aims to create a teaching/learning space for digital media production that critically engages storytelling as method with implications for the emergence of multiple histories as complex and often contradictory. Visit www.dsohlab.arizona.edu.
In 2008, I founded Arizona’s first LGBTQ archives and, since 2011, have been continuing to develop the Arizona Queer Archives through the Institute for LGBT Studies. As one of the key sites of my research, the Arizona Queer Archives is a participatory and hands-on laboratory of sorts where archival theory and practice engage queer theory and queer/ed material lives. I developed a Queer/ed Archival Methodology, Q/M, for archivists to utilize in new and existing archival productions to offer a way of thinking critically about archival practices and productions as radically open, productive, and generative spaces that many multiply-situated bodies might fit into, even complicatedly. Please visit my PUBLICATIONS page to read more about the Q/M in the 2017 Special Issue of the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies on ‘Critical Archival Studies.’
I am also Co-PI on the Climate Alliance Mapping Project, CAMP, which is a collaborative counter-mapping project attentive to climate justice in the School of Information, School of Geography & Development, the Public Political Ecology Lab, and American Indian Studies to develop a layered mapping tool to display scientific climate data alongside geo-referenced digital stories from communities throughout the Americas experiencing fossil fuel extraction. Visit www.climatealliancemap.org.
Since 1991, I have worked in film/video/TV and have owned and operated a multimedia production firm in Minneapolis/St. Paul and Tucson. As an award-winning social justice filmmaker, my film work has screened on PBS, Free Speech TV, and at film festivals and conferences throughout North America and Europe. I presented at the 2008 Women’s World Congress in Madrid, Spain and was the keynote speaker at the 2009 New Directions in Critical Theory Conference. I was the recipient of the 2009 Arizona Commission on the Arts Artist Project Grant and a 2010 Arizona Governors Arts Award nominee for my work connecting my artform to community activism.
I am Affiliated Faculty in the: Social, Cultural, Critical Theory (SCCT) GIDP/Graduate Minor; the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies; the School of Geography & Development; and the Human Rights Practice GIDP.