Welcome to Archive/Counterarchive

Announcing the "Archival Futures: Ethics and Carework in the Archive" Reading Group

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If the archive is a remnant, it is one that keeps whispering to me, insisting on its place in my everyday life.

Julietta Singh, No Archive Will Restore You (Punctum, 2018)

How have attitudes about ethics and care in archival research – and other work concerning archives and special collections – changed in recent years? How has this shifted the social, cultural, economic, and political significance of archives in scholarly and creative forms of humanistic inquiry? In the Archival Futures reading group, we will make our way through a curated list of key readings that illustrate the ways that archival scholarship in a variety of disciplines and research areas and features a range of important voices in the field. Selected readings focus on contemporary, evolving critical and generative conversations taking place between scholars and the archive, attending to themes of ethics and carework and the ways relationships between collections and different forms of scholarship are framed and reimagined in recent texts. 

Our first reading will be a selection from Michelle Caswell’s Urgent Archives: Enacting Liberatory Memory Work (Routledge, 2021), a call to action for archivists and others to reimagine and renegotiate the relations between archives, affected communities, and the present.

This reading group is intended for academics, artists, and memory workers from any background interested and/or involved in scholarly and creative research about archives and invites participants to read, discuss, and share perspectives. Some knowledge and experience working and reading in archives and/or archival studies is useful but not necessary.

Schedule and Registration

The group will be led by Dr. Julia Polyck-O’Neill (University of Guelph). The first session will take place via Zoom on Thursday Oct 5 at 4:30pm EST. Please register using the Google Form below. Subsequent meetings will also be held throughout the Fall and Winter semesters, with specific dates to be announced shortly.