“In an age when technological innovation itself is often assumed to make the world a better place, Cait McKinney reminds us that, for the past fifty years, lesbian feminist activists have resourcefully patched together their own heterodox information infrastructures—composed of telephone hotlines and spiral-bound notebooks, index cards and digitization technologies, hacked tools and customized protocols—to serve clear social and ethical ends. Their information activism enabled them to create systems of connection and care that are responsive to human need, rather than, as is so common today, to advertisers and algorithms.”
-- Shannon Mattern, author of Code and Clay, Data and Dirt: Five Thousand Years of Urban Media
“Through what might seem like an unlikely mashup of lesbian feminism and information studies, Cait McKinney illuminates both in original and compelling ways. The novel concept of information activism is a valuable contribution to understandings of social movements and counterpublics. And McKinney sheds new light on often misunderstood or neglected histories of lesbian feminism by exploring amateur obsessions with circulating information, including digital media. Together, information and lesbian feminism become unexpectedly sexy, erotic, and affectively charged.”
-- Ann Cvetkovich, author of Depression: A Public Feeling
"Steeped in the words, culture, vernacular, ephemera, and ways of interacting that have been refined by decades of lesbians, queers, and other feminists. The details are delightful. The writing is warm. Individuals and communities come to life on the page."
-- Alexandra Juhasz Lambda Literary Review
"What can we extrapolate from the sparse log that is left behind? In Information Activism, McKinney ... approaches this question with palpable respect for those doing the work at the time and with a sharp curiosity for the pieces of information that they didn’t leave behind. Each chapter examines a different kind of network—newsletters, hotlines, indexing projects, and archives—and centers the women who created and maintained them to make lifesaving, community-sustaining information available and accessible."
-- Meerabelle Jesuthasan The Nation
"Saturated with vivid historical detail, a testimony to McKinney’s extensive archival research. . . . The book’s intimate depictions of pre-digital information management invite its readers to reflect on the staggering amount of slow, painstaking technology work that went into feminism’s second wave."
-- Deborah Thurman Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory
"I loved reading this book. . . . McKinney illustrates the interconnectedness of past social movements, present activism, and the attainability of liberatory futures."
-- aems emswiler Information & Culture
"McKinney's Information Activism reinforces why information activism matters. . . . McKinney's work does not feel wholly bound to either the past or present. Like many meaningful queer projects, it is oriented toward a sense of futurity: a perpetual process of improvisation, revision, and worldmaking."
-- Harris Kornstein Catalyst
"McKinney compellingly argues against strict and discrete definitions of print and digital, drawing instead a through-line between current pressing questions of ethics, access, and search retrieval on the one hand and past archiving practices of lesbian feminist activists on the other. . . . This work is a fascinating read for scholars of media and information, archives, queer histories, and activism. It raises a number of important questions about medium-specific affordances, privacy, and access that merit further study."
-- Nelanthi Hewa Canadian Journal Of Communication
"Information Activism is a critical celebration of activist-archivism, practiced via newsletters, crisis lines, periodicals, and other archive-community hybrid spaces. . . . Through a refusal of the safe, straight archive, and an embrace of strategic opacity and theft . . . McKinney invite[s] us to an archive that loves us back. Information is care, passed in the verb of love for ourselves and for each other, and these texts sustain kinship lines both new and old."
-- Sarah Cavar Feminist Media Studies
"Information Activism is a perfect book for readers interested in lesbian feminist activist histories and how social movements are sustained through old and new media technologies and productions. . . . McKinney offers readers a perfect entrée into thinking critically about LGBTQ+ archives and communities. Media studies and archival studies scholars might consider joining together to build on McKinney’s timely and important research to center the role that community archives play in building and sustaining community networks."
-- Jamie A. Lee Journal of the History of Sexuality