A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Graduate Archival Studies During COVID-19

Event Start Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2022 - 4:00 pm

Location: Virtual Event on Zoom

Ferrin Evans
Master’s candidate, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

What is the role of creation during personal crisis? Reflecting upon his time spent at University of Toronto’s iSchool during the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in the spring of 2020, Ferrin Evans will discuss the challenges he faced as an archives student during a halting public health outbreak. Juggling fellowships, committee work, and thesis writing as he attempted to grieve the coronavirus-induced loss of friends and loved ones, Evans found himself in an unsustainable paradigm: celebrated for his professional achievements at the same time as he found himself buckling under the weight of his personal grief. Presenting excerpts of his soon-to-be-published American Archivist article, started near the onset of COVID-19’s first wave, Evans will examine how he attempted to write through the pain, the choices he would have made differently, and the opportunities for queer scholars to better show up for each other in times of tumult.

Ferrin Evans is a Master of Information candidate at the University of Toronto, where he worked with the Media Commons Archive and with the Sexual Representation Collection. In the past, he has worked with the Gay Archives of Quebec, The ArQuives (Toronto), Toronto Queer Film Festival, Cinema Politica, and the MIX New York Queer Experimental Film Festival, where he served on the Board of Directors. In 2020, he was named to the premiere cohort of the Association of Moving Image Archivists Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship Program; the following year, he was awarded the SAA Pease Award for outstanding graduate student writing.  His work centres upon queer trauma and dis/connection within archival studies.


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