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ACA 2023: Belonging - Considering archival bonds and disconnects 


Photo Credit: Mount Stewart, Prince Edward Island; Photo by Robyn Biggar

ACA 2023: Belonging - Considering archival bonds and disconnects 


City: Charlottetown 

Dates: June 28 to July 1, 2023 at the Delta Hotels by Marriott, Prince Edward Island  

A sense of belonging is a fundamental human need – as the story of Anne of Green Gables, PEI’s most famous (fictional) daughter, so vividly demonstrates. As peoples of many regions, ages, faiths, genders, abilities, sexualities, racialized or ethnic backgrounds, we want to see ourselves, our stories, and our experiences reflected in the historical memory of the many environments to which we feel we belong.  Archivists and archival practitioners now realize how many aspects of archival work contribute to peoples’ experiences of inclusion and exclusion in a community. Through our actions towards historical memory,people may or may not see their stories and experiences reflected, leaving them with feelings of belonging or disconnection, or at worst exclusion. 

The 2023 ACA Program Team invites proposals that reflect on the theme of “Belonging from the perspectives of archival theory and practice, related disciplines and professions, and/or diverse lived experiences of archives, records, and memory work. What does ‘belonging' or conversely, ‘not belonging’ mean to you within your archival context or experience? 

Topics could include (but are not limited to) 

  • Where does this profession belong? What disconnects exist between archivists, records managers, and/or IT professionals, and how can these be overcome? How are archival associations, councils, members, and associated organizations and communities working together in new ways?
  • To whom do records belong? To the archives? To creators? To documented people/communities? To everyone? Who has stakes in the records and how are those understood/articulated/acted on?  
  • Whose experiences belong in archival records and collections?  
  • What groups of people or organizations are not well represented in archival collections? What impact do archival collections and/or exhibits connected with marginalized populations have on these groups’ sense of belonging in an institution, community, region, or nation?  
  • How are existing and emerging technologies changing arrangement, description, access, and use in ways that encourage or discourage a sense of belonging for patrons or staff? What are some innovative practices or projects that can cultivate a sense of belonging?  
  • What steps are being taken to develop a more diverse workforce? What kind of work has been effective in creating spaces of belonging? What barriers still must be overcome?  
  • How are archival services being made more inclusive for staff and users? How can archival spaces, services, practices, etc., be transformed so that more people feel like they belong in physical and virtual spaces? How do we relate to individuals or groups who do not want to ‘belong’ to the spaces archivists construct?  
  • How are new archivists transitioning into the profession? In what ways are archival workplaces and/or the archival community welcoming or otherwise? How does one figure out where they belong in the profession at any stage of their career?
  • How can the desire to belong lead to practices shared between individuals and communities? 

SUBMITTING PROPOSALS:  

The 2023 Conference Program Team invites contributions, of either a practical and/or theoretical nature, in a variety of formats including:  

  1. Traditional session: formal presentation of papers; approximately 20 minutes per speaker, with questions to follow as time allows. 
  2. Panel discussion: abbreviated presentation of papers; approximately 10-15 minutes per speaker, with discussion to follow.
  3. Roundtable: brief 5-7-minute presentations with open discussion.  
  4. Focused Debate on a specific topic: brief presentations with open discussion & debate to follow.  
  5. Archival Book Club: Moderators select readings for discussion at the session; could also include creative elements like debate or voting for preferred works, as in the CBC’s “Canada Reads” broadcast.
  6. Sprint Session: Is there a challenge that could be solved by a group of people in a short-term, time-bound exercise? What could you accomplish with a set amount of time, a hive mind, and no distractions?
  7. Fishbowl session: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fishbowl_(conversation)
  8. Storytelling session  
  9. Other: Please share your ideas – be creative!

Use the “Call for Submissions” button on the ACA website at http://www.archivists.ca/.  

Submitting your session proposal in electronic form using this link is strongly encouraged.  

The deadline for these proposals is: Friday, January 6, 2023 

2023 ACA Belonging Call for Submissions_FINAL.pdf

WORKSHOP PROPOSALS 

For 2023, ACA will use the “Call for Submissions” button for any workshop proposals that will be associated with the Annual Conference. These submissions will go to the Professional Development Committee, which will make its decisions in Winter 2023.

https://archivists_ca.formstack.com/forms/workshopsubmissions

Note: Please be advised there will be a Call for Student Papers as well as a Call for Posters later this year, with submission deadlines early in 2023 

Please feel free to direct questions to:  

Lara Wilson  

Chair, ACA 2023 Conference Program Committee 

Program.Team@archivists.ca 

Program Team Members 

Robyn Biggar, Jonathan Bowie, François Dansereau, Sarah Glassford, Sara Janes, Karen Suurtamm, Kelly Turner   

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