CFP: Sighting the Document (grad) (UK) (9/28/06; 10/20/06-10/21/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Louise Owen


Queen Mary, University of London, UK
Friday 20 & Saturday 21 October 2006

A graduate student conference event for researchers in the humanities,
funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council

This conference explores the document – in its widest possible sense – and
its relationship to the archive. With the conceptual and practical tools a
performance studies perspective offers, SIGHTING THE DOCUMENT approaches
documentation and archival work as situated processes. In any such
conversation, questions related to the production and reception of knowledge
emerge. How might the material constitution of the document affect its
reception? What changes when the document is recontextualised, and what
role does this play in the enactment of everyday life? What are the
theoretical and practical consequences of calling the stability of archives,
sites of the containment and transmission of knowledge, into question? What
are the historiographical and epistemological challenges that research faces
if the document 'itself' is problematized? Is this liberating (opening up a
wealth of possibilities as to what might count as 'document' and 'archive'),
intractable (fraught with incapacitating relativism) or something else,
suggesting perhaps a different set of ethical questions?

SIGHTING THE DOCUMENT is an occasion for mutually enriching exchange to take
place between geographical, historical, aesthetic and pragmatic approaches
to documentation and the archive. Papers across the humanities addressing a
diversity of issues that relate to the scope of this theme are invited.
Topics might include (but are not restricted to): nostalgia and other
manifestations of cultural memory; commerce and the commoditization of
knowledge; shopping (barter, exchange, purchase, selection); the body as/of
the archive; intermediality; the ontology of the document; how and where the
archive is sighted, sited or cited. The aim of the event is to cultivate
productive opportunities for disciplinary paths to connect, in part to
discover how discipline-specific methodologies might usefully apply to other

SIGHTING THE DOCUMENT will incorporate panel presentations, round table
discussion, and a range of practice-based research training workshops on the
sensory themes of 'Touch' (the body as a site of archival knowledge),
'Sight' (the archive in visual cultures), 'Hearing' (the role of sound in
cultural memory) and 'Disappearing' (archiving the 'ephemerality' of

We are delighted to welcome Alan Read as the keynote speaker for SIGHTING
THE DOCUMENT. Alan Read is Professor of Theatre in the Department of
English at King's College, University of London. He is the author of
'Theatre and Everyday Life: An Ethics of Performance' (1995), and the editor
of 'Spaced Out: Architecture, Art and the City at the Millennium' (1999) and
'Architecturally Speaking: Practices of Art, Architecture and the Everyday'

Papers should not exceed fifteen minutes. The deadline for submission of
250-500 word abstracts is 28 September 2006. Please include your name,
institutional affiliation, e-mail address, and phone number. Abstracts
should be submitted via e-mail to

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Received on Wed Jul 12 2006 - 16:31:16 EDT