Legendary anarchist Emma Goldman would never have expected better treatment, but then she was a cynic. As JWeekly reports, the Berkeley offices of the Emma Goldman Papers project are set to close and the fate of the archive itself is up in the air.
As U.C. Berkeley celebrates the 50th anniversary of the free speech movement this month, a long-simmering feud over funding for the Emma Goldman Papers — an archival project dedicated to the life and work of the iconic Jewish radical and free speech advocate — is coming to a head.
After 34 years of U.C. Berkeley affiliation, and more than $1.2 million of funding spread across the decades, the project could be reaching the end of the line.
The university has informed the project’s editor and director, Candace Falk, that her employment will terminate at the end of October due to lack of funding. That decision, which the university’s chancellor has deemed final, could effectively shut down the Emma Goldman Papers Project, which has been housed on or near the U.C. Berkeley campus since its inception.
The project has been a high-profile success, producing three volumes of study on Goldman and her influence, although earlier this year they tried the old “online fundraiser” solution which proved more applicable to potato salad recipes than to Anarchist Literature, even at Berkeley. They ended up with $13,466 of a $40,000 goal, presumably one full-time salary for the school year.
According to the Indigogo, there is one volume left to publish. What happens to that work if Falk leaves the university in a few days is unclear, but you’d be wise to be un-optimistic about it. Falk herself put the annual costs of the project at $250,000. They could always take advice from Goldman herself, who famously said:
But then, she also said,
“When we can’t dream any longer we die.”