Baird Campbell

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Rice U.

Grant number

Gr. 9520

Approve Date

October 11, 2017

Project Title

Campbell, Baird C., Rice U., Houston, TX - To aid research on 'Making History: Trans Activism and Social Media Archives in Santiago de Chile,' supervised by Dr. Cymene Howe

This project will study the role of social media in the lives of trans activists in Santiago, Chile, where trans histories have largely been excluded from the official record. Given an ongoing societal conversation concerning history and memory in post-dictatorship Chile, and taking into account the incredible popularity of social media both in Chile and globally, this project proposes to study how trans Chilean activists use social media to produce politically viable group subjectivities through the creation of alternative historical narratives, and the potential implications this may have for studying the relationship between individual and collective memory. Using ethnographic and archival research methods, this project seeks to assess how the advent and subsequent mass distribution of social media in Chile have influenced changes in activist history making and archival practices in Chile’s trans community, and posits social media as an ‘archive of the self.’ Additionally, it asks how their online and offline behaviors may differ, and what this might mean about the role of social media in the creation of individual and group political subjectivities. Finally, it asks how social media may allow anthropology to rethink the concept of the archive more generally. It compares and contrasts the characteristics of social media and traditional archives, proposing that the specificities of social media may represent novel innovations in activist archival practices, and thus may be useful tools for effective activism for Chile’s trans community.