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Ignite your thinking about change and how it happens. Through interviews, book talks, field trips, film screenings, and more, you'll get to know the women and nonbinary people leading change in a wide range of areas, and learn more about the hard, but important, work of building a better future.

SPARK is open to all members of the Barnard community, including faculty, staff, alumnae, and friends of the college.

In 2022-2023, our theme is protest.

Join us as we explore and investigate the power of protest as a tool for changemaking.

Click here to view our archive.


Abolitionist Feminism in the Archive :: Wednesday, October 26, 6-7:30 p.m

A conversation with Sarah Haley (Columbia University), Emily Thuma (University of Washington, Tacoma), and Eve Glazier (BC '23)

Presented by the Barnard College Archives and Special Collections

This is an online event. ASL interpretation and live transcription will be provided. Registration is encouraged.

About the event

Over the past year, archivists at Barnard have been processing the collections of the New York Coalition for Women Prisoners, a formation led by formerly incarcerated people organizing against the gendered violence of the carceral state. Working with the materials of the CWP and its members has sparked significant reflection about the relationship between archives and the carceral state and, in turn, the implications of incorporating stories, narratives, and histories of anti-carceral organizing into the institutional archive as it currently exists. As scholars like Saidiya Hartman, Marisa Fuentes, and Jarrett Drake teach us, the archive—much like the prison—is a site of containment, one which confines, controls, and exerts ownership over knowledge to discipline our collective understanding of history and the present towards the needs and desires of the racial capitalist state.

With this in mind, what does it mean to archive the histories and narratives of incarcerated people when the archive itself is, in many ways, a carceral enclosure? What are the implications of holding collections of materials documenting anti-carceral struggles within universities like Columbia, which are deeply invested in maintaining systems of carcerality and fueling carceral expansion in their surrounding neighborhoods?

This panel brings together scholar-activists who have gone against the grain of the carceral archive to construct historical accounts that deepen geneaologies of anti-carceral organizing and propel today’s abolitionist feminist movements forward. Through grappling with these questions, we’ll begin to imagine the possibilities (or impossibilities) of an abolitionist feminist archive.


 Funding for SPARK is provided by

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