Harm takes shape in and through what is suppressed, left out, or taken for granted. Unsaid: Unsaid: Analyzing Harmful Silences (U California Press, 2022) is a guide to understanding and uncovering what is left unsaid—whether concealed or silenced, presupposed or excluded. Drawing on a variety of real-world examples, narrative criminologist Lois Presser outlines how to determine what or who is excluded from textual materials. With strategies that can be added to the tool kits of social researchers and activists alike, Unsaid provides a richly layered approach to analyzing and dismantling the power structures that both create and arise from what goes without saying.

“…there’s always been a latent importance to absences and silences, and people have been saying that for a long time, but I think this is a time of just trying to get our act together with how we’re going to make strong claims about exclusions and silences and disappearances.” – Lois Presser, author of Unsaid: Analyzing Harmful Silences.

Jen Hoyer is Technical Services and Electronic Resources Librarian at CUNY New York City College of Technology and a volunteer at Interference Archive. Jen edits for Partnership Journal and organizes with the TPS Collective. She is co-author of What Primary Sources Teach: Lessons for Every Classroom and The Social Movement Archive.

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