Obermann Special Topics Seminar: Archives, Power, and Social Justice, Spring 2018
These days, archive is a noun and a verb. What does the term mean and how can an archive be a means of achieving social justice? This one-hour reading and discussion course is designed to welcome graduate students from any discipline who plan to attend the March 1-3 Obermann Humanities Symposium, "Against Amnesia: Archives, Evidence, and Social Justice." In keeping with the spirit of the Obermann Center, the class will offer a cross-disciplinary introduction to current discussions of archives, archival practices, and archival thinking.
Archives are not transparent windows into the past, but are the products of human actions, embedded in concrete political and cultural contexts. What can archiving practices tell us about how power is distributed in society? About the connections between history, public memory, social justice, and political identities?
Through the writings of a few key historians, literary scholars, archivists, and anthropologists, including the speaker of the conference, we'll explore the archive from the early modern period to the present as an instrument of state, institutional, and colonial power and as a base from which historically marginalized peoples have made their own demands on history and power. Students will be asked to generate discussion questions for the conference speakers and write a brief reflection (1-2 pates) in response to the conference itself. The class will meet four times for 90 minutes each time before the conference and one time for 90 minutes after the conference to reflect on what we learned from the conference. Because the symposium itself is the heart of the course, attendance at the symposium is required.
Feb 01, 2018 - Mar 08, 2018
5:00P - 6:30P Th
Instructors: Teresa Mangum and Elizabeth Yale