Feminist Theory Archives: Ten Years of Details

On April 4, 2003, the Pembroke Center inaugurated the Feminist Theory Archives with a reception to accept the papers of the late Naomi Schor. Co-founding editor of differences and former Nancy Duke Lewis Professor at Brown, Schor was, at the time of her death in 2001, the Benjamin F. Barge Professor of French at Yale University. A conference titled The Lure of the Detail brought together scholars from across the country to honor her at the Pembroke Center, one of her primary intellectual homes and the destination of her personal papers. 

At the reception, differences Managing Editor Denise Davis described the 70 cubic feet of material that had recently arrived and awaited processing:

"Intimate writings indiscreetly find their way into conference packets and course files. Manuscripts are tucked in with research notes, research notes are entangled with lecture notes, and all the projects and ideas become intertwined. The leitmotifs of Naomi's research -- the detail and difference -- show up everywhere."

This slideshow features personal correspondence from Schor's papers.* The postcards sent by Naomi to her mother Resia Schor chronicle her trips to different areas of France. A series of envelopes painted by her sister, visual artist Mira Schor, reached "Nomi" at her addresses in France and in Providence, RI.

From the late 1960s until the 1990s, Mira decorated the envelopes she mailed to close friends and family with scenes inspired by commemorative stamps and with iterations on several themes, including the teapots and sunglasses on display here. Mira has pledged to donate her personal papers to the Feminist Theory Archives. These will contain many more samples of her painted envelopes.

Ten years after receiving the Naomi Schor collection, the Feminist Theory Archives has developed as a project that preserves the personal papers and the intellectual legacies of dozens of scholars who share Naomi's commitment to research, writing, and teaching about gender. Over 110 individual donors have pledged their papers, as have the feminist journals differences and Camera Obscura. Collections recently received from Mary Ann Doane, Nancy K. Miller, Tani Barlow, and others will soon join the 15 processed collections currently accessible to researchers. 


* These items are displayed with permission. Until January 2014, researchers must receive written permission to access personal materials from the Naomi Schor Papers. Please contact [email protected] for more information.