The American Archivist
Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
This article examines how a postmodern-influenced discourse of identity shapes and influences critical analysis of community archives, both internally and externally, and asks if the accompanying terms of engagement shift focus, to negative effect, from the more pressing needs and challenges of these institutions and projects. Looking to archival professional literature and to a recent self-assessment of the Japanese American National Museum, the article argues that an overarching emphasis on questions of identity can distract community institutions from pragmatic evaluations of sustainable practice and can inadvertently mire archivists in a marginalizing rhetoric that blurs the issues at hand.
Paschild, C. N. (2012). Community Archives and the Limitations of Identity: Considering Discursive Impact on Material Needs. American Archivist, 75(1), 125-142.