Repositories of Failure: Creating Abolitionist Archives to Project Past the Punishment Paradigm

 >  > Jarrett Drake Digital Dialogue

Jarrett Drake

Harvard University
Speaker Website
MITH Conference Room
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
12:30 pm
In conjunction with the African American History, Culture & Digital Humanities (AADHum) initiative
This talk will speculate on the following questions: to what extent and in what ways might communities use archives as avenues to abolish police and prisons in the United States? How can archivists, organizers, and resource allocators use the archive as a means and a method to envision a world without police and prisons, thereby assisting in the construction of a society that relies on new sets of relationships to promote justice? Drawing on historical research and narratives from A People’s Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland, Jarrett Drake will explore the term ‘abolitionist archives’ and describe how they constitute a critical component to the constellation of alternatives to imagine a societal landscape free from our present punishment paradigm.

See below for a Sutori recap of this Digital Dialogue, including live tweets and select resources referenced by Drake during his talk.

Jarrett M. Drake is a PhD student in Social Anthropology at Harvard University and an advisory archivist for A People’s Archives of Police Violence in Cleveland. His lines of inquiry converge on issues of justice, state violence, accountability, and memory work. Prior to Harvard, Jarrett spent four years as the Digital Archivist at Princeton University. While there, he volunteered as an instructor in the New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons (NJ-STEP) Consortium through the Princeton Prison Teaching Initiative, teaching preparatory and introductory college composition. Jarrett is a graduate of Benjamin Banneker Achievement Center in Gary, Indiana.

A continuously updated schedule of talks is also available on the Digital Dialogues webpage.

Unable to attend the events in person? Archived podcasts can be found on the MITH website, and you can follow our Digital Dialogues Twitter account @digdialog as well as the Twitter hashtag #mithdd to keep up with live tweets from our sessions. Viewers can watch the live stream as well.

All talks free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunches.

Contact: MITH (,, 301.405.8927).