Call for Papers for Archivaria 100: Legacies of Critical Theory in Archives (Fall 2025)


In recognition of the 50th anniversary of Archivaria and the 30th anniversary of the English language publication of Jacques Derrida’s Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression, this special issue look towards the legacy of critical theory in discussions on archives, particularly within the pages of Archivaria, and its impact on the far ranging and interdisciplinary landscape of contemporary archival thought. Born of the union between archival practice and what was alternately called “poststructuralism” or “postmodernism,” early forays into the critical interrogation of archival praxis were rooted in the effort to reclaim the theorization of “the archive” from the proverbial clutches of philosophers, postmodernists, and others not steeped in the quotidian struggles of stewarding cultural heritage and memory.

Archivaria was at the forefront of this new and syncretic force in scholarship, and rarely shied away from asserting the theoretical challenges posed by archives, and their implications for the cultural, historical, and socio-political landscape. In contrast to sister publications on the North American continent, Archivaria’s focus was pointedly dedicated to wrestling with the anti-foundationalist and boundary pushing work emanating from critical theory in the 1980s and 1990s, and its ramifications for the intersectional relationship of archives with feminism, queer theory, critiques of racism, and Eurocentric assumptions about history. Furthermore, this engagement with critical theory precipitated the necessary reconsideration of fundamental understandings and definitions of archives, and the entrenched praxes that had functioned as professional gatekeepers, laying the ground for a greater opening in archival thinking and practice.

This special issue, in turn, seeks submissions that are in conversation with this legacy of critical theory in archives and in Archivaria, but which moreover engage with the current and future use of critical theories to understand archives, the people that work with them, and their impact on the world. Even with the democratization of archival theorization and the increased proliferation of “archives” as a phenomenon across a number of disciplines, there continues to be a need for archivists themselves to interrogate the tools of their trade and to lead this critical conversation. We welcome submissions on a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Impact (local, national, or international) of Archivaria on the discourse of archives and critical theory within the field as well as other disciplines
  • Contemporary and critical receptions to Archive Fever from the archival community, the humanities, and the social sciences
  • Legacies and contemporary locations of critical theory in archival scholarship and praxes
  • Conversations between archives, feminist and queer theory, and critical race theory
  • Relationship between critical theory, materiality, and archives


Mario H. Ramirez, Associate Dean and Chief Librarian, The City College of New York, CUNY

Rebecka Taves Sheffield, Head, Special Collections & Archives, University of Waterloo


October 15, 2024: Expressions of interest: Abstracts up to 500 words. Please email your submissions to:

November 15, 2024: Notification of acceptance

February 1, 2025: Full papers due

December 2025: Special issue published


Please consult the Archivaria Submissions and Style Guide at:

Any questions related to this issue should be addressed to Dr. Mario H. Ramirez,