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Abstract

The archive is the place for the storage of documents and records. With the emergence of the modern state, it became the storehouse for the material from which national memories were constructed. Archives also housed the proliferation of files and case histories as populations were subjected to disciplinary power and surveillance. Behind all scholarly research stands the archive. The ultimate plausibility of a piece of research depends on the grounds, the sources, from which the account is extracted and compiled. An expanding and unstable globalizing archive presents particular problems for classifying and legitimating knowledge. Increasingly the boundaries between the archive and everyday life become blurred through digital recording and storage technologies. Not only does the volume of recordable archive material increase dramatically (e.g. the Internet), but the volume of material seen worthy of archiving increases too, as the criteria of what can, or should be, archived expands. Life increasingly becomes lived in the shadow of the archive.

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... Arquivos são considerados uma construção social que englobam aspectos da vida cotidiana, refletem conhecimento, legitimam atos ou atores e colaboram para a constituição da memória coletiva moderna (Carter, 2006;Decker, 2013Decker, , 2014Featherstone, 2006;Mills & Mills, 2011;Schwartz & Cook, 2002;Stoler, 2002Stoler, , 2010. Estes materiais são carregados de vozes e silêncios que revelam processos polissêmicos e dão conta de diferentes conotações a respeito de diversos acontecimentos, sendo ou não representativos do grupo a que se referem (Carter, 2006;Decker, 2013). ...
... Assim, durante o processo de arquivamento, podemos delinear uma forma de proteger uma narrativa ou realçar a posição de um ator, por exemplo, e com isso os arquivos assumem a conotação de uma arena de disputa, negociação, contestação e legitimação (Schwartz & Cook, 2002;Stoler, 2002Stoler, , 2010. Evidencia-se, portanto, que os arquivos são capazes de refletir variados aspectos da vida cotidiana, por meio das diversas vozes as quais ele dá lugar, colaborando para a construção de uma memória coletiva (Decker, 2013;Featherstone, 2006;Mills & Mills, 2011;Schwartz & Cook, 2002;Stoler, 2002Stoler, , 2010. ...
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... Arquivos são considerados uma construção social que englobam aspectos da vida cotidiana, refletem conhecimento, legitimam atos ou atores e colaboram para a constituição da memória coletiva moderna (Carter, 2006;Decker, 2013Decker, , 2014Featherstone, 2006;Mills & Mills, 2011;Schwartz & Cook, 2002;Stoler, 2002Stoler, , 2010. Estes materiais são carregados de vozes e silêncios que revelam processos polissêmicos e dão conta de diferentes conotações a respeito de diversos acontecimentos, sendo ou não representativos do grupo a que se referem (Carter, 2006;Decker, 2013). ...
... Assim, durante o processo de arquivamento, podemos delinear uma forma de proteger uma narrativa ou realçar a posição de um ator, por exemplo, e com isso os arquivos assumem a conotação de uma arena de disputa, negociação, contestação e legitimação (Schwartz & Cook, 2002;Stoler, 2002Stoler, , 2010. Evidencia-se, portanto, que os arquivos são capazes de refletir variados aspectos da vida cotidiana, por meio das diversas vozes as quais ele dá lugar, colaborando para a construção de uma memória coletiva (Decker, 2013;Featherstone, 2006;Mills & Mills, 2011;Schwartz & Cook, 2002;Stoler, 2002Stoler, , 2010. ...
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Full-text available
Our objective in this article is to discuss the contributions of archival ethnography as a method of historical research in management. We indicate that, while historical research is already relevant in the management research area, there is still a dilemma regarding the possibility of how to access the past and conduct research of this nature. In this context, ethnography associated with historical archives emerges as a legitimate source, loaded with voices and silences to be unveiled in the processes of reflection on time in the context of organizations. Thus, we discuss the characteristics and possibilities of the method of an archival ethnography, considering its multi-situated character in the proposed research strategy. Thus, we hope to foster the discussion about ethnographic immersion in historical archives and how this method can contribute to the several research areas in management and more specifically in Organization Studies.
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... Usually this is understood in terms of pastness and memory. Mike Featherstone (2006) invokes the fragmented and inherently fugitive nature of Benjamin's city as archive: ...
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... Es aquí donde el ar- gumento de Muzzopappa y Villalta (2011) hacen sentido en cuanto a que a través de fuentes escritas pueden analizarse prácticas concretas de los organismos que componen el Estado. Las autoras le llaman "palabra auto- rizada" a la voz que se extrae de las prácticas burocráticas y que brinda fuerza a lo estatal en función de su poder de instaurar o crear lo que está autorizado legítimamente a ser o hacer (Featherstone, 2006;Muzzopappa & Villalta, 2011). ...
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... This then locates this more traditional aspect of our project in a lineage of earlier examinations of how the APA has worked to define itself in that role (e.g., Altmaier, 2003;Bazerman, 1988;Belar & Kaslow, 2003;Wallin, 1960). And that is in turn consistent with the historian's view of archives as sources of information about the past, but also simultaneously sites of disciplinary control (see, e.g., Featherstone, 2006). ...
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This second chapter introduces Sydney’s drag king scene as both a critical object and a case study into a social scene for lesbian and queer women during the first two decades of the 21st century. By animating the historical and contemporary dimensions of drag against the longer tradition of performing masculinity, this chapter documents some of the complexities in specifying a universal drag king culture. Following recent work in human geography, this chapter then charts the temporal and spatial coordinates of Sydney’s local networked series of drag king events to outline the mobile conditions that made the scene’s emergence possible. Overall, this second chapter repositions the performance of gender through an engagement with the investments made in scene sites and sociality.
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Music streaming services provide people with access to vast libraries of music, but also encourage certain patterns of consumption. In this article, I use Spotify as a case and investigate the action potentials for exploring and archiving music. The personal role of music implies we may expect the ‘will to archive’ to be prevalent even if these archives are not based on individual ownership. First, an analysis of Spotify suggests that the machine agency of Spotify pushes people towards exploring music, whereas archiving features are material and depend on human action. Spotify is hence skewed towards prompting users to explore rather than archive music. Next, an analysis of 23 focus-group interviews suggests that users value opportunities to explore music, yet their practices are equally directed towards archiving music. Theoretically, this article delineates how objects with machine agency are different from material objects in terms of affordances. The action potentials of material objects are symmetrically constituted by what the objects provide relative to an active being. The action potentials of objects with machine agency interfere with this symmetry: the machine is designed to act on behalf of the human being, making certain affordances more perceivable than others.
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To what extent can, or should, discursive psychologists and microanalysts of online data ignore the social and technological context of the communication they are studying? In this chapter I discuss briefly the debate around context in conversation analysis before considering the role of archived material in both discussion forums and Twitter, as well as the clearly visible social detail that arrives with each post and tweet. I finish with a detailed case study of communication on Twitter between a British celebrity and his followers, in which the public identity of the individual, and his well-documented history, is an unavoidable part of the discursive context. In conclusion, I suggest that the extent to which we draw on this context is largely determined by our subjective motivations as researchers.
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As a concept archive encapsulates different levels of profoundness and has a loaded meaning. This concept has interpenetrated into many disciplines and gained a strong position as a theoretical tool in the late twentieth century. As much as the variety and elasticity of its conceptual elaborations, the imaged existence of the archive in the fiction medium also reflects a certain heterogeneity; archive spaces are depicted in connection with associations such as ‘being buried, accessibility difficulty, security, dusty and old environment’. Dematerialization of its basic unit, the document, leads archive space to lose its materiality as well. This creates an interest and ambiguity for the archive’s future. Among these ambiguities, the study initiates a discussion for the imagination of the future of the archive and looks into the archive’s techno-cybernetic envisagement via analyzing the film Archive (2020). According to this analysis, the meanings associated with the archive are constructed via three distinct levels; these are the architectural features of the facility, the representation of the archive as data storage, finally, its embodiment as a synthetic body, which hints that the archive will evolve from a static repository to a variable and active process between past knowledge and the phantasy of the future. The article argues that without reduction to representations at any one layer, a mental image of the archive arises from their interaction and concludes that the archive is not an object, but a web of relations that is open to reproduction and interaction of what it contains.
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This article evaluates efforts to bring to life some museum collections in Zimbabwe. Scholars have argued that the removal of objects from their social environments into museums literally kills them. The ‘heritagisation’ and ‘museualisation’ processes stand accused of killing objects. On the other hand, indigenous African communities consistently and situationally imbued their landscape with spiritual, political and social meanings. These cultural landscapes epitomise ‘living museums’ where diverse cultural objects were curated with traditional management systems. European colonialism, however, resulted in the denigration of these cultural practices. Objects which were critical for the well‐being of Africans were taken into captivity in colonial museums and eventually became ‘forgotten’ or ‘dead’. Ethnographic museums, in particular, are perceived as places of the dead and evil spirits. They are places to dump ‘garbage’ that no longer has a function in society. Post‐colonial African museums have struggled to attract and sustain local community interest. However, there is still hope to re‐ignite and sustain public interest in museum programmes. We invoke the notion of ‘living archives’ as an approach to decolonise the museum. The article appraises case studies of museum collections that have triggered immense public interest.
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Digital cultural archives and databases are promising an era of heritage democratization and an enhancement of the role of arts in everyday cultures. It is hoped that mass digitization initiatives in many corners of the world can facilitate the secure preservation of human cultural heritage, with easy access and diverse ways for creative reuse. Understanding the dialogic processes within these increasingly vast databases necessitates a dynamic conceptualization of data they contain. The paper argues that this can be found in Juri Lotman’s cultural semiotic notion of text and text’s functions in culture. It elaborates on the three key characteristics of text – expression, boundary, and structure – as manifested within the digital semiosphere. At the same time, the textual dialogues within digital archives are increasingly conditioned by metadata, which is hereby conceptualized as metalanguage inducing a modeling effect on archived texts and defining their possible sphere of dynamics. To balance the explanations of creative operations of digital archives, the paper also demonstrates their auto-communicative mechanisms for facilitating cultural continuities and stability.
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This chapter explores the uses of an archive, by analysing projects which used digital assets from the Kaldor Public Art Project (KPAP) digital archive. These projects were: the exhibition Making Art Public: 50 Years of Kaldor Public Art Projects created by Michael Landy as KPAP’s 35th project; the associated book project which acted as the catalogue for the show edited by Genevieve O’Callaghan and Mark Gowing; and the documentary film It All Started with a Stale Sandwich (2019), directed by Samantha Lang. All three projects made extensive use of digitised archival material, but are framed in unique ways in relation to their medium.
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This special issue of Visual Anthropology takes a close look at (un)sighted migratory archives and archives of migration. Acknowledging migration as part of social practice and collective memory, it highlights the relevance of migratory archives for individual and collective subjectivities. With a transversal perspective across the fields of art, anthropology and social activism, the contributions analyze the complexities of power relations, spatial and temporal dynamics, media practices, and meaning production involved in the making, maintaining, contemplation, appropriation, destruction and loss of such archives. Rethinking methodological and theoretical approaches, these engage with archives as spaces of encounter and resistance in a liminal zone of visibility and invisibility.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global cultural crisis, experienced through various losses of everydayness, including particularly restrictions on mobility and the sudden emergence of new fears and anxieties over infection. This paper theorises some of the ways in which that crisis can be understood in cultural and discursive terms, as a rupture in normativity, a disturbance in social relationality and as a state of exception. Drawing on Judith Butler's theories of performativity, the paper investigates how such a cultural rupture can be understood to affect performative subjectivity, identity and selfhood, whereby a breach in normative everydayness prompts the re-constitution of subjectivity itself. The paper explores how the reconfiguration of identity is experienced as corporeal and as a site of anxiety and lost dignity. The final section of the paper draws some initial conclusions about the potency of cultural and identity transformation for new ethics of non-violence, arguing that the obligation to resist norms of mobility and contact is an ethical obligation of necessary cohabitation.
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Since 2014, photographer Stephen Shore has been exploring Instagram as a new body of work, having its own online portfolio entry next to iconic series as American Surfaces and Uncommon Places. Instead of joining contemporary debates concerning the crisis of representation implicit in the networked condition of the photographic image, Shore is keen to engage with Instagram through the lens of modernism, concentrating his attention on the visual characteristics intrinsic to photography as a medium, a reasoning previously encapsulated in the primer The Nature of Photographs. Building upon selected samples from Shore’s pre-digital archive in addition to his most recent series, Details, the research takes @stephen.shore as a significant case study to examine how Instagram affects the modernist emphasis on seeing photographically the ordinary, evaluating the contemporary relevance of Shore’s networked notational impulse when many Instagram users engage with photography to keep a quasi-diaristic practice. Looking at the traces of everyday life, envisaged for Instagram or the gallery wall, the camera is but a tool for reflecting upon a concept Shore long borrowed from the great writer T. S. Eliot: the “objective correlative”, allowing for poetry to be found, and given visual structure. The Version of Record of this article has been published and is available in photographies, Volume 14, Issue 2, 2021: https://doi.org/10.1080/17540763.2021.1877787
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This article considers how Indigenous peoples in Central Australia share and keep digital records of events and cultural knowledge in a period of rapid technological change. To date, research has focused upon the development of digital archives and platforms that reflect Indigenous epistemologies and incorporation of protocols governing access to information. Yet there is scant research on how individuals with little access to such media share and hold—or not, as the case may be—digital cultural information. After surveying current enabling infrastructures in Central Australia, we examine how materials are held and shared when people do not have easy access to databases and the Internet. We analyze examples of practices of sharing materials to draw out issues that arise in managing storage and circulation of cultural records via Universal Serial Bus (USB) flash drives, mobile phones, and other devices. We consider how the affordances of various platforms support, extend, and/or challenge Indigenous socialities and ontologies.
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What is remix today? No longer a controversy, no longer a buzzword, remix is both everywhere and nowhere in contemporary media. This article examines this situation, looking at what remix now means when it is, for the most part, just an accepted part of the media landscape. I argue that remix should be looked at from an ethnographic point of view, focused on how and why remixes are used. To that end, this article identifies three ways of conceptualizing remix, based on intention rather than content: the aesthetic, communicative, and conceptual forms. It explores the history of (talking about) remix, looking at the tension between seeing remix as a form of art and remix as a mode of ‘talking back’ to the media, and how those tensions can be resolved in looking at the different ways remix originated. Finally, it addresses what ubiquitous remix might mean for the way we think about archival material, and the challenges this brings for archives themselves. In this way, this article updates the study of remix for a time when remix is everywhere.
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The rise of crowdsourced and participatory digital platforms which aim to make visible the experiences of otherwise marginalised people are significant within the broader landscape of digitally mediated community spaces. One example of such media is Queering the Map, a digital storymapping platform where users anonymously pin ‘queer moments’ and memories to places. While the mediation of affect and intimacy in digital spaces among queer people is increasingly attended to in scholarly work, the cartographic and archival remains hitherto underexplored. Drawing on an analysis of almost 2000 micro-stories geolocated to Australia, in this article we explore various aspects of story contribution that situate Queering the Map as a lively cartographic archive. Rather than necessarily anonymous (as the platform dictates), the posts, we argue, entail various deliberated directions or gestures, encoded for audiences: what we term stories for someone. We highlight these publicly private stories’ connective and affective underpinnings, and the political potentialities (and problems) therein for queer belonging and community-building. In doing so we seek to contribute to scholarship on digital archives, crowdsourcing, and advance conceptualisations of digital intimacies.
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The Vietnam War is the topic of books, comics, documentaries, films, and television shows. Contrary to popular filmic and literary representations of the Vietnam War, which feature violence and militant hypermasculinity, Thi Bui's The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir (2017) weaves a tapestry of stories about the Vietnam War through memories of her family members. Rather than reiterating a shibboleth of masculine struggle and American exceptionalism during the war, Bui's narrative centers on women, specifically their experiences with birthing and motherhood. Her graphic novel offers us an alternative lens to view the Vietnam War and the experiences of those whose stories were often excluded. The Best We Can Do illustrates memories of women and families commonly disregarded as unimportant and affirms their importance in understanding history and identities shaped by such exclusions. In mapping bodies and their various connections and separations to the nation and to each other, Bui invokes a new archive of memory in which the female body becomes a site for reframing the discourse of the Vietnam War.
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Desde fines de la década de 1960 el concepto de archivo se utiliza para analizar prácticas que acontecen fuera de la jurisdicción de los Archivos, museos, bibliotecas y otras instituciones estatales y privadas. En los últimos años el concepto ha servido para comprender diversos aspectos del funcionamiento de la World Wide Web. La WWW, un ámbito hipertextual, multimedial y global en el cual se llevan a cabo diversas rutinas de archivación, puede ser pensada desde dos perspectivas contrapuestas. Por un lado, como un mundo hiperclasificado y metaclasificado poseedor de una voracidad acopiadora inmanente orientada a la exhaustividad. En este sentido, la WWW es un conjunto de archivos y metaarchivos con sus predicciones logarítmicas y reglas de clasificación. Por otro lado, puede ser considerada un ambiente de sobreabundancia que brinda a sus usuarios la ilusión de navegar libremente en un caos que incita a ser ordenado, clasificado y archivado. El propósito del artículo consiste en ahondar en estas perspectivas y sopesar sus alcances a la luz de los distintos tipos de acceso que provee Internet a la WWW cuando la navegación tiene como fin hallar expresiones musicales. Desde un enfoque interdisciplinario se interrogan las mencionadas perspectivas mediante la intersección de problemas que bullen en las discusiones sobre el concepto de archivo y otros que remiten a las condiciones de acceso a bienes y servicios culturales mediante la comunicación digital. El acceso a las expresiones musicales a través de la web, tanto en su modalidad de descarga como de streaming, es problematizado en derredor de las rutinas de archivación y desde enfoques que relativizan las distinciones entre consumo y producción, y que discurren sobre la vida social y la información digital a partir del reconocimiento de su trasformación mutua.
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Postwar urban planning in Singapore rehoused squatters and slum dwellers in emergency public housing and socialized them as model citizens. To write a social history of this urban development is to tangle with historiographical and methodological issues stemming from the use of various archives: the documents of the state, obviously, but also ‘alternative archives’ – namely, the oral histories of former squatters-turned-public-housing owners. Historical research involves ‘making do’ with these archives – reconciling issues, dealing with presentist influences and taking risks with the material. Reading against the archival grain to write the social history of the squatters extends our understanding of modern Singapore beyond the political and economic elites. It simultaneously reveals the archives as a technology of rule, containing the concerns and policy actions of their authors who, as urban planners, criminalized the squatters and deprived them of their agency and voice. Furthermore, unlike public archives elsewhere, the Singapore archives are classified and open to access in unequal parts. The real archives are often what already exists, or existed, in the public domain. Finally, the social historian must make do with oral history, which although useful still bears the influence of the official narrative called The Singapore Story.
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This paper analyses the impact of the myth of España Negra on Spanish identity and culture from the country’s crushing defeat in the Spanish-American War to the present. Spain’s loss of Cuba and the Philippines (the last remnants of its once-global empire) to the United States in 1898 gave rise to a profound national crisis and provided a catalyst for a new wave of writers, artists and intellectuals known collectively as the Generation of ’98, a movement that focused on the motives for the debacle and sought the “essence” of Spain in the sobriety of the Castilian landscape and regional customs. Conservative authors of that period such as Azorin and painters such as Ignacio Zuloaga and José Gutiérrez Solana propagated a troubling, dark vision of Spain that remained unquestioned during the Franco dictatorship and has been repeatedly revived by new generations of Spanish writers, visual artists and movie directors. The España Negra myth has had a particularly strong impact on Spanish photographers, many of who have focused on archetypes and endeavoured to create a visual record of a vanishing national heritage. José Ortiz Echagüe, whose work is examined in depth in this text, served as a reference for most Spanish photographers until the end of the 1970s in terms of both style (an outdated form of pictorialism) and subjects (landscape, country and heritage viewed from an urban perspective). The notion of España Negra has evolved and waned over time. Photographers lost interest in the topic following Franco’s death and the end of his decades-long dictatorship and looked increasingly to Europe for inspiration. This paper analyses how new generations of image-makers working in radically different circumstances have ideologically and aesthetically distanced themselves from outmoded perceptions of Spain as an irredeemably backward and underdeveloped society.
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In four exploratory theoretical gestures (appraise, dispose, hoard and mediate), I propose the ‘archive as dumpster’ as a framework for returning to the physical conditions of memory, where “picking through the trash” subverts traditional archival methodologies by insisting on the very material consequences of a culture inculcated in networked digital communications. I make an argument that by posing the archive as a mediatic question (Parikka 2013), we can begin to account for the ways in which the perceived immateriality and weightlessness of our data is in fact with immense humanistic, environmental, political, and ethical repercussions. It is also a means by which we come to understand who we are, looking forward. In both cases, pitting the archive’s orderly ambitions against the dumpster’s stinking mess reveals a ‘call of things’ (Bennett 2011); the slow and often distanced process of disposal and waste to remind us who we are, in and over time, in and out of our bodies, increasingly under the impression of a dematerialised engagement with our stuff.
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This article examines the work of two diasporic memory organizations, Kresy-Siberia and Houshamadyan, which have both developed Internet platforms to collect and share information about lost homelands: in the former case, the pre-Second World War eastern borderlands of Poland; in the latter, the Armenian communities of the Ottoman Empire that were destroyed by genocide. The article draws on interviews undertaken with participants in order to examine the activism of these two diasporic memory groups and to analyse the relationship between memory practice and the online space. The article asks what difference the creation of an online platform makes to such groups, both for individuals and for the wider diaspora, and seeks to understand how the possibilities offered by these platforms shape diasporic practice. The article shows how, despite the apparent similarities between the online presences of these two organizations, their use of the Internet facilitates diverse forms of memory practice, which are influenced by the historically specific needs of participants in these different diasporic communities.
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This chapter uses theories of circulation, subculture, and materiality to discuss the activities of unauthorized comic book scanners or “pirates,” and the mechanisms by which they structure their community. The discussion is drawn from a body of quantitative data collected by observing the circulation of unauthorized comic scans through several BitTorrent Websites between 2005 and 2012. The authors also examine the public discourse of scanners themselves—showcased through various anonymous interviews—as part of an investigation into the scanners’ identification with a system of ethics that validates their dissemination of unauthorized content in the name of preservation or “digital archiving.” Lastly, the authors propose a methodology for the study of digital media as “space-biased” and circulatory rather than archival. Though comic book scanners may identify themselves as digital archivists, they are somewhat unreliable for actual preservation. However, the ongoing existence of their community, despite the illegal, anonymous, and ephemeral nature of their work, invites one to consider the merits of a knowledge propagation model based on dissemination over preservation.
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This article considers the relationship between the production of a British imperial archive on China and the global politics of empire over the last century and a half. Drawing upon the theoretical work of Bruno Latour, Gayatri Spivak and Thomas Richards,the archive is explored as a coherent set of material practices designed to decode and recode China and other colonized territories. Imagined as an interface between knowledge and the state, the British archive required the establishment of an epistemological network designed to generate knowledge on China. The knowledge so produced was then used to manipulate local scenes and to provide intelligence in 'the Great Game', the continuing contest with Russia over domination in Central Asia. Because of its desire for comprehensive knowledge of other peoples and places, the archive also generated its own phantasms, ones which threatened to undermine and destroy empire. This process of self-haunting is explored through the figure of Fu-Manchu, a discernible mutation of epistemological empire, and linked to the cold war which emerged on the Eurasian landmass after 1945.
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The article begins with Derrida’s etymology of the word ‘archive’: a privileged site to which records are officially consigned and in which they are guarded by legal authority. It explores contemporary variations on the theme of archive. The cases presented include efforts to construct scholarly archives that stand as personal monuments, struggles over the collection and consignment of records during official investigations of government scandals, and the ‘popular archive’ produced by the media spectacle surrounding the O. J. Simpson trial. The discussion orients to these archives not only as sources of documentary information but also as sites of historical struggle over the writing, collection, consignment, destruction and interpretation of writings.
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This article argues that the notion of the archive is of some value for those interested in the history of the human sciences. Above all, the archive is a means of generating ethical and epistemological credibility. The article goes on to suggest that there are three aspects to modern archival reason: a principle of publicity whereby archival information is made available to some or other kind of public; a principle of singularity according to which archival reason focuses upon questions of detail; and a principle of mundanity, whereby the privileged focus of archival reason is said to be the commonplace dimension of everyday life.
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In German archival terminology, the term Akte (file) as the basic unit of storage corresponds with its actualization as discursive (re-)action: the word ‘acts’ can designate at once the content of what is to be archived and the archive itself (Derrida, 1995: 17). Whereas the network of Prussian state archives from post-Napoleonic Germany until the First World War figured as a non-discursive juridical Read Only Memory of internal autopoetic bureaucracy, the German Weimar Republic sought to develop a more democratically transparent archival information politics. This remained, however, for the most part an aspiration of the new political culture, and it was never systematically adopted by state institutions. By contrast, the National Socialist regime was the first to make use of archival memory in a partisan, active manner; Akten were actively instrumentalized as part of the programme for the annihilation of European Jewry. This article, based on the German state archives and also on a case-study concerning the ideologization of the Nietzsche Archive in Weimar, examines archival micro-politics as the site of discursive repression and production, between the affirmation and the resistance of discretely segmented memory to holistic ideological demands.
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The archive can take many forms but all are marked by a connective sequence: archive, memory, the past, narrative. The author explores this sequence through an account of her engagement with four different types of archive, constructing a phenomenology of the archive which highlights the promises and seductions offered to the researcher. Postmodern questioning may throw in doubt older conceptions, whereby the archive is used to legitimate knowledge claims about the past of a nomological nature. However, in a context where intellectuals become interpreters rather than legislators, the role of the archive as repository of inert meanings is strengthened rather than weakened; using the archive helps us to understand the dialectical nature of the relationship between past and present and our own positioning within this.
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By considering the experience of historians in national and regional archives, the relationship of memory to history and historical practice is discussed. The professional experience of historians is connected to wider social and psychological uses of the past, and of history in Euro pean societies, over the 200 years since official archives were inaugur ated.
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In 'No Apocalypse. Not Now' Derrida claims that 'literature produces its referent as a fictive or fabulous referent, which is itself dependent on the possibility of archivising...'. Taking the Kipling archive as its point of reference, this article considers the claims involved in the idea of a literary archive (with its appeals to authority, intention, origin, propri ety). In view of the continuing fascination with the details and events of Kipling's life (the interweaving of his public and private self, and especially his connections with India and with Imperialism, and with Indian and English worlds and values), what does the history of Kipling's archive tell us, and how is this related to the location and repression of cultural anxieties (and, in particular, to notions of nation and national character). From the unacknowledged use of a quotation from 'If' in an advertisement for a patent tonic in 1919 to the appear ance of Kipling as hypertext in the 1997 Microsoft Word advertisement in the Sunday Supplements, which or whose 'Kipling' is in question in the iconicity of the continuing and contemporary representations of him. As in Derrida's description of De Man, Kipling is now a ghost of the culture.
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The Archive is a central but paradoxical image in the work of the contemporary French artist Christian Boltanski (born 1944). Because Boltanski is obsessively concerned with the death-like rupture and loss by which experience is continuously reduced to fragmentary and inaccurate memories of the past, especially regarding the adult's perception of childhood, archives represent for him a potential means of regaining access to what has been lost and is being mourned. However, Boltanski's installation and performance works that investigate the powers of archives set out ironically the absurdly limited and misleading processes of an archive. Photography in particular is shown to be unreliable, more icon than document, challenging rather than asserting notions of category and coherence. The notion of the icon, moreover, underlines the spiritual dimension that accompanies this absurdist relationship with the past. Our faulty but much-desired awareness of a past gives complex value to our present, often in a touching, pathetic way, however arbitrary the means involved. The trail of the archive leads to an uncertainty that is nonetheless precious. The many subjects that Boltanski treats in this light vary disarmingly and controversially from the trivia and detritus of everyday living to the supreme seriousness of the Holocaust. He also transforms himself and his family into a labyrinthine and playful archive. Here a curious relationship emerges with the reputation and books of his brother, the sociologist Luc Boltanski. Christian borrows with no explicit acknowledgement the archive resources of Luc's sociological research as a sub-text in his visual works. Even more surprisingly, Luc Boltanski published in 1993 Poème, a collection of highly emotive and personal poetry about the past and the Holocaust. The problems raised by Christian Boltanski and by Luc conflate the personal and historical dimensions of the Archive.
  • Featherstone, M.