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40 Austl. Feminist L.J. 1 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/afemlj40 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Australian Feminist Law Journal, 2014                                   Routledge
Vol. 40, No. 1, 1-14, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13200968.2014.937893  *~ yor&Francs Group






EVIDENCE AND THE ARCHIVE: ETHICS, AESTHETICS, AND EMOTION

                        Katherine Biber and Trish Luker*





During her lifetime, Susan Sontag sent 17,198 emails. Today they are kept in the
Department of Special Collections at the Charles E. Young Research Library at
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), where researchers can read them on
a special laptop. The emails reveal the minutiae of her friendships, her appoint-
ments, and the small, forgotten details of everyday life. Sontag's official bio-
grapher, Benjamin Moser, has written about the 'queasiness' he felt as he read them,
'unease, sometimes verging on nausea', as he was drawn into his subject's sex life,
her finances, medical records, failures, disappointments, and difficulties.' Sontag's
email archive is stored on two small hard drives, each labelled with a Post-it note.
    Sontag was born in 1933, so most of the Susan Sontag archive is on paper. The
Sontag papers run across 132 linear feet, filling 264 boxes, 67 oversize boxes and
one oversize map folder. They include letters sent to and from Sontag, arranged
alphabetically, including correspondence with artists and writers, personal corres-
pondence, and love letters. Her opera programmes, political activism, teaching
materials, notes and manuscripts relating to her published and unpublished works
are there, and also juvenilia - crayon drawings on newsprint made when she was
aged around six, and writing practice in pencil from around the same time2 -   her
spelling and school workbooks, junior high school projects, exam papers and course






*Katherine Biber, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney. Email:
katherine.biber@uts.edu.au; Trish Luker, UTS Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow,
Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney. Email: trish.luker@uts.edu.au. Thanks to
Judith Grbich, Karen Crawley, Joanne Stagg-Taylor, Isabel Karpin, David Ellison, Ondine
Karpinellison, Zach Karpinellison, the anonymous referees and contributors to this special issue.
This work was supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery grant [DP130102224
Biber] and a University of Technology Sydney Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
[Luker].
1 Moser Benjamin 'In the Sontag Archives' The New Yorker blog 30 January 2014. Available at:
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2014/01/in-the-sontag-archives.html? (Accessed 15
July 2014).
2 Susan Sontag papers (Collection Number 612) Department of Special Collections, Charles E Young
Research Library, University of California Los Angeles. Juvenilia (ca 1939) Box 295 Folders 1 and 2.
C 2014 Australian Feminist Law Journal Inc.

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