course

This course explores questions of archive, memory, history, and historiography, focusing especially on more vernacular versus state and institutionalized modes of knowledge production. Throughout we will be especially concerned with the dynamics of archival formation, memory work and commemorative practice, and with popular historiographies emergent and significant within different political, historical, and sociocultural constellations. Relevant are theorizations such as that of the living archive, a perspective that highlights volatility and change against the conventionally assumed stasis of the archive as well as counter-archives that challenge or present alternatives to the more official archives of institutions and the state. Material memory, questions of collection and museology, and the camera as historian all bring different ways of understanding how the past is mediated and becomes embedded or congeals in artifacts and public space, as does the work of artists who make or draw upon archives and incorporate found objects into their practice. Equally importantly, we will consider how processes of digitization raise theoretical questions concerning the materiality, value, and historicity of different sources, knowledge production and the work of memory and, crucially, participation in and access to the archive, its constitution, and interpretation.