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On the Im/possibilities of decolonizing knowledge and power

A resource guide for the 2022 International Roundtable

Introduction to the Archives Display

Highlighted Collections from the Macalester College Archives

Inside the entryway to the Library, you can view a display of materials from collections in the Macalester College Archives that relate to the theme of this year's International Roundtable. We have highlighted a selection of student publications, student org records, and programs that could spark thought and conversation around the decolonization of knowledge and power at Macalester. If you would like to view more materials from any of these collections, send us an email or make an appointment to visit the Archives!

ASA Conference Program Cover

Asian Student Alliance conference, "Asian Americans: Issues and Activism," Macalester College, April 8, 1995

Focal Point

Focal Point, a monthly student advocacy and community involvement journal for the Macalester Community, November/December, 1978. A special issue on ten years of Macalester Minority Programs. 


Imani, a Macalester student newspaper produced out of the Black House (a cultural house for Black students at Macalester), Volume 3, Issue 1, 1973.

Disorientation Zine

This project was designed and created by the Fall 2013 class "Resisting Minnesota." Disorientation: A People’s History Tour of Macalester, was a collective final project for the course, and it includes a website, a zine, and a tour given on the last day of class. Seeking to flip the script on racist and settler colonial histories, the creators researched archives, analyzed Macalester statistics, interviewed folks, and conducted anonymous surveys.

Disorientation 2.0

Disorientation 2.0 was created by the Fall 2021 class “Media Activism” as a response to a Fall 2021 sit-in by students at Macalester college. It takes inspiration from the 2013 zine, Disorientation: A People's History of Macalester.

Student Organization Records

Asian Student Alliance

The Asian Student Alliance student organization was active through 2015. Highlighted in the display is the conference program from the April 1995 conference, "Asian Americans: Issues and Activism." This conference was planned and organized by the student organization. It included a day of workshops followed by a keynote address by Dr. Evelyn Hu-DeHart.

Black Liberation Affairs Committee

The Black Liberation Affairs Committee (B.L.A.C.) began in the late 1960s and is currently active today. The Archives holds records which date from 1967 to 2015. The collection contains correspondence, event and program materials, publications, and official documents pertaining to the formation and maintenance of the organization as well as its work and presence on the Macalester College campus. Highlighted in this display are the publications Jamaa and Imani as well as "Dear Brothers and Sisters", a guide for new Black students, published in 1968.

Proud Indigenous People for Education

P.I.P.E. is the Native American student organization at Macalester College consisting of members of assorted tribes as well as students of other backgrounds. The philosophy behind P.I.P.E. is to increase campus awareness about Native American cultures and intercultural issues while working closely with other student organizations. This collection which dates from 1989 to 2017 contains correspondence, photographs, newsletters and newspapers, minutes and administrative documents, event materials, and documents and artifacts relating to the Native American movement both locally and across the nation. Highlighted in this display, are event and informational posters created by the org. 

Macalester Community Publications

Cultural Voice: "Cultural Voice" was a student and staff publication produced by the Minority Programs department at Macalester from 1986 to 1989. The newsletter featured student profiles, events, and short articles. Issues of the newsletter can be found in the Department of Multicultural Life records.

Disorientation: Disorientation and Disorientation 2.0 are student zines that were created as final projects for courses in 2013 and 2021. The zines both focus on Macalester, it's history, values, and impact on social change. 

Focal PointFocal Point was a student publication that ran from 1977 to 1995, describing itself as a "student advocacy, community involvement newsletter for the Macalester Community", providing "mechanisms", "information", and a "co-ordinating body for existing organizations in directing input into Macalester's power structure". Focal Point's voice was informative, critical, humorous, and frequently poked fun at itself while covering issues both on and off campus including those on the world stage. Declining submissions for articles in the early-mid 1990s lead to the paper scaling back its issues to intermittent "pull outs" tucked inside the Mac Weekly before ceasing publication permanently in 1995.

ImaniImani was a Black student newspaper published at Macalester in the 1970s. The paper included articles about the Macalester community as well as the local Saint Paul area. The Archives holds only four issues of the paper. 

JamaaJamaa was a literary journal produced by the Black Liberation Affairs Committee. It is a collection of short stories, poetry, art and essays submitted by Macalester students, faculty, and staff of color. The Archives holds 3 issues from 1981 to 1984 which can be found in the Black Liberation Affairs Committee records.

College Records

While many college records collections could be applicable to conversations around this year's topic, we have focused on two archival records collections that have been processed and are available for access. The Department of Multicultural Life records contain materials detailing the work, publications, and events of the department; currently, these records span 1968-2019. The Expanded Educational Opportunities (EEO) Program was established in 1969 as a program of financial aid and supportive services for predominately BIPOC students from lower income families. The Expanded Educational Opportunities Program records cover the years 1968 to 2010 and contains reports, proposals, budgets, minutes, correspondence, and publications relating to the EEO program at Macalester.