The Critical Archive: Materials, Models and Methods

Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 5–8 pm
Center for the Humanities at Tufts (CHAT)
Fung House, 48 Professors Row, Medford, MA 02155

This colloquium will be a multidisciplinary exploration of the function, definition, role of the ‘archive’ as a disposit or apparatus through which individual and collective history, memory, and identity are mediated in the 20th and 21st centuries. If one of the defining characteristics of the traditional archive is its existence as a physical repository of knowledge, many other models and methods have reinvented the system through which verbal, visual, and aural materials are conceptualized, categorized and catalogued. This active questioning of what constitutes the archive—and how the archive constitutes ‘the commons’—has been accompanied by a recognition of its role as an ‘authority’ that governs relations of power. This event asks whether we can define what a ‘critical archive’ might be by examining practices from different disciplines, cultural contexts, and time periods.


Jeffrey Schnapp, What is an Archive?
Richard J. Golsan, Beyond History, Beyond Memory? The Novel as Archive in the New Century
Eric Rosenberg, Trauma’s Archive: Photography, Amnesia and the Failure to Document
Tina Wasserman, Unhinged Time in the Digital Archive
Gediminas Urbonas, Memory Hack: Taking Archives into One’s Own Hands

The proceedings will be introduced and moderated by Noit Banai, Lecturer, Modern and Contemporary Art,
Visual and Critical Studies Department, Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Generously sponsored by the Center for the Humanities at Tufts and the Department of Visual and Critical
Studies, Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

For more information about the speakers and schedule, visit – http://ase.tufts.edu/chat/events/

Admission to both events is free and open to the public. For November 26 event, attendees must obtain free
tickets from a kiosk at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to gain admittance.



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