Speaker Information

Liza Cowan, Independent Scholar

Panel

B: Developments in Digital Women's History 2

Speaker Bio

Liza Cowan's career started in the 1970's as a radio producer at WBAI, later she published two Lesbian periodicals, DYKE and Cowrie. After working as a designer in an ad agency and running a chamber of commerce, Cowan earned and MPhil in Anthropology at The New School University and later ran an art gallery. She works as a photographer, designer, activist and blogger in Vermont in addition to curating the DYKE A Quarterly online annotated archive. Visit the DYKE A Quarterly on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/DYKE-A-Quarterly-Online-Annotated-Archive/346701988742269 and follow Liza on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/smallequals/

Abstract

DYKE A Quarterly of Lesbian Culture and Analysis, was published from NY City in the mid 1970s. Editors Liza Cowan and Penny House created a magazine that was as beautiful as it was radical, and as personal as it was political. After it ceased publication in 1978, it languished in private collections until, in 2010, curators from The Library of The Museum of Modern Art and The Schlesinger Library requested copies and papers.

While Cowan was doing graduate studies in anthropology in the 1990s, she was horrified to discover that scholars were depending on secondary source material to write about Lesbian Feminist activism of the 1970s. Cowan decided to produce the digital archive to provide primary source documents about Lesbian Feminism to scholars everywhere.

Rather than a limitation, a lack of knowledge about the techniques of academic archiving proved to be source of inspiration and creativity when Cowan decided to approach the archive as she had the magazine: as an activist, writer and artist. Although rigorous in presenting the scans and searchable transcriptions of the original materials, the DAQ archive presents another dimension as well.

The annotations to the original articles are written as personal essays and as research essays about the women or groups mentioned in the articles. Hyperlinks make this a useful tool for both scholars and for the non-academic reader. Because the archive is published in blog format, readers can respond with their own stories and links.

Share

COinS
 
Mar 23rd, 12:05 PM Mar 23rd, 1:20 PM

DYKE, A Quarterly: Blogging an Online Annotated Archive

DYKE A Quarterly of Lesbian Culture and Analysis, was published from NY City in the mid 1970s. Editors Liza Cowan and Penny House created a magazine that was as beautiful as it was radical, and as personal as it was political. After it ceased publication in 1978, it languished in private collections until, in 2010, curators from The Library of The Museum of Modern Art and The Schlesinger Library requested copies and papers.

While Cowan was doing graduate studies in anthropology in the 1990s, she was horrified to discover that scholars were depending on secondary source material to write about Lesbian Feminist activism of the 1970s. Cowan decided to produce the digital archive to provide primary source documents about Lesbian Feminism to scholars everywhere.

Rather than a limitation, a lack of knowledge about the techniques of academic archiving proved to be source of inspiration and creativity when Cowan decided to approach the archive as she had the magazine: as an activist, writer and artist. Although rigorous in presenting the scans and searchable transcriptions of the original materials, the DAQ archive presents another dimension as well.

The annotations to the original articles are written as personal essays and as research essays about the women or groups mentioned in the articles. Hyperlinks make this a useful tool for both scholars and for the non-academic reader. Because the archive is published in blog format, readers can respond with their own stories and links.