Lesbian Connections: Critical Social Network Mapping and Queer Archival Methods

From dyke bars to lesbian magazine discussion forums to Alice Pieszecki’s Chart on The L Word, social networks and the ways participants place themselves within them serve as a critical tools for lesbian and queer women’s community knowledge production and place-making practices. But what happens when details of past social connections that might have otherwise been rendered ephemeral are excavated from the archive and reassembled using digital social network mapping tools? In this talk, I place Pieszecki’s character's work in The L Word in conversation with my own network map of radical feminist political networks in the United States in the 1970s, examining the balance between the possibilities of recovery and the dangers of surveillance brought about by emergent digital social network mapping technology. I further outline the possibilities of social network mapping software as an emergent queer methodological tool. Finally, I point toward the importance of integrating a feminist ethics of care into queer social network mapping work, rooted in both the methods for archival retrieval and the process of determining how to reassemble the material. 


Katelyn Campbell, Doctoral Student
Department of American Studies
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

About the Presenter

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Katelyn M. Campbell (she/her) is a third year PhD student in the Department of American Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. Her work is concerned with lesbian feminist place-making and its relationships to land and settler colonialism in the 1970s. Katelyn is an alumna of Wellesley College and the 2016 Harry S. Truman Scholar from West Virginia. She lives in Chapel Hill with her feline companion, Theodore.

Attend this Presentation

Day Two (Tuesday, October 13th, 2020) | Session One (6:00pm - 7:00pm)

Duration: 10 minutes

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