"By playing with notions of collecting and cataloging, this anthology offers a range of investigations into detritus and forgotten ephemera."-Colin Dickey, coeditor of The Morbid Anatomy Anthology
The modern age is no stranger to the cabinet of curiosities, the freak show, or a drawer full of odds and ends. These collections of oddities engagingly work against the rationality and order of the conventional archive found in a university, a corporation, or a governmental holding. In form, methodology, and content, The Year's Work in the Oddball Archive offers a counterargument to a more reasoned form of storing and recording the avant-garde (or the post-avant-garde), the perverse, the off, the bent, the absurd, the quirky, the weird, and the queer. To do so, it positions itself within the history of mirabilia launched by curiosity cabinets starting in the mid-fifteenth century and continuing to the present day. These archives (or are they counter-archives?) are located in unexpected places-the doorways of Katrina homes, the cavity of a cow, the remnants of extinct animals, an Internet site-and they offer up "alternate modes of knowing" to the traditional archive.
"An unruly―and much-needed―model for how to do the archive differently."-Scott Herring, author of The Hoarders: Material Deviance in Modern American Culture
"It was a pleasure to read through this collection, and I suspect some of the essays, if not the entire book, will find itself on the syllabus for my Archive and Ephemera graduate course."-Museum Anthropology Review
"A finely wrought collection of curiosities . . . A vital intervention into how we talk about the stuff that surrounds us."-Colin Dickey, coeditor of The Morbid Anatomy Anthology