UPDATE: Archives: From Memory to Event (grad) (UK) (11/1/06; 3/9/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Anne Enderwitz
contact email: 

Archives: From Memory to Event

UCL English Postgraduate Conference
March 9th 2007
Institute of English Studies
Senate House

Keynote Speakers: Helen Freshwater (Birkbeck), Dorothea McEwan (Warburg

In recent years the word 'archive' has been used to describe many things.
An archive is first of all a physical place that houses documents or
material relating to a specific person, event or time period. However,
Michel Foucault uses the term archive more generally to describe 'the system
of the formation and transformation of statements' - a set of rules that
determines what can be said in a given context. Jacques Derrida identifies
the archive as a site of power, which is manifested by the act of
assembling, structuring and interpreting signs. According to his theories,
archiving techniques are far from innocent in the archival process: they
determine the content of the archive itself. Derrida stresses the
materiality of the archive. He later suggests, however, that one should
'take into account unconscious, and more generally virtual archives'.

Discussions around the archive evolve between different poles: Is the
archive actual or virtual; is it a place or a set of ordering principles; or
does the archive operate as place and principle simultaneously? Does it
document certain historical events or does it in effect create events
through its own assembled narrative? What is its effect on the content it
We welcome contributions from the humanities, the social sciences and the
arts. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
. discussions of specific archives and their relation to individual or
collective memory and commemorative acts
. the (literary) text as archive and monument
. self-narration and autobiography as a way of constructing archived
and archivable memory
. the archiving and remembering of traumatic events
. questions of power with regard to the archive and
. literature on mourning and its structuring of memory and
. self-censorship and confession in texts which stage the archiving of
. memory and the possibility of the archive in 'unfinishing' texts

Proposal submission deadline: November 1st 2006; 250 words limit. Papers
will be expected to be 15 minutes in length. They may be published in the
online journal of the UCL English Postgraduate Society 'Moveable Type'.
Please send proposals to sandeep.parmar_at_ucl.ac.uk.

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Received on Sat Oct 14 2006 - 20:57:38 EDT