Archives: Theory and Practice
English 790.401, Fall 2017
Wednesday 6-9, Kislak Seminar 627, Van Pelt Library
This class examines various theories of and methods for archival research. Reflecting on the so-called archival turn in a number of disciplines, we will consider “the archive” as a philosophical, historiographic, and political problematic. We will also attend to specific, material archives as changing political, economic, and ideological sites. The 17th- to 19th-century Americas will be our center of gravity, but students are encouraged to bring questions, interests, and expertise in other periods and regions to our collective efforts. We will begin by reading some foundational philosophical and historiographic texts, and then turn to a series of thematic units, such as: black lives, de/coloniality and postcoloniality, catastrophe, and archives of the present.