Academic histories have focused on urban centers, overshadowing neighboring towns and agricultural areas as if they didn’t matter. The formal archives that house the records of (white) leaders obscure the experiences and perspectives of migrant workers, communities of color, and others in places such as Southern California’s Inland Empire, which are important to arriving at a fuller historical understanding. The author identifies as “Rebel Archives” sources created by those overlooked by mainstream accounts, including family photo albums, school records, popular media, oral histories, and “counter-mapping.” Analysis of such diverse sources can reveal patterns that cause us to ask questions and rethink history. The article concludes with several noteworthy projects of “subversive history” that are uncovering an enriched history of the Inland Empire.
Tales from the Rebel Archive: History as Subversive Practice at California’s Margins
Genevieve Carpio is Assistant Professor of Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she works on questions related to spatial theory, relational racial formation, and 20th-century U.S. history. Carpio is author of Collisions at the Crossroads: How Place and Mobility Make Race (University of California Press, 2019).
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Genevieve Carpio; Tales from the Rebel Archive: History as Subversive Practice at California’s Margins. Southern California Quarterly 1 February 2020; 102 (1): 57–79. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/scq.2020.102.1.57
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