archive fanfiction: experimental archive research methodologies and feminist epistemological tactics
This essay proposes that subcultural practices such as gossip and fan writing are feminist epistemologies that can form radical archive inquiry and knowledge production, and creative outputs. Drawing on feminist new materialism and archive theory, I develop a set of principles for practice-based research methodologies that incorporate a researcher’s intersubjective relationship with archive matter (e.g. records, documents, classification systems, social-material contexts) and consider the production of knowledge from such research as forms of fabulation. Fabulation here is seen as part of a critically transgressive epistemological stance that expands feminist critiques of universalising master narratives and archive orthodoxies. My proposition, formed in part through a residency in the Woman’s Art Library in London, is to name such research gestures ‘archive fanfiction’, where experimental and practice-oriented method moves with feminist politics and activism.