In his essay “Valery Proust Museum”, Adorno associates museums with death rationalized, pointing at how a modernized form forces a chronological order onto the objects. This imposition, as he describes it, is partially a function of the physical layout of the archival space. In the digital age, however, archives no longer need necessarily be housed physically, nor must they abide by chronological schema. Our present question concerns the future of the archive and what the archive of the future might look like or accomplish. Does the digitization of the archive give us an opportunity to rethink the archival project in terms of how the archive, its access and selection, has effects on knowledge, authority, and subjectivities?
Addressing the archive as an abstract concept, a concrete object, and a practice, we would like to consider theoretical explorations as well as projects focusing on libraries, museums, collections, collectors, the technical difficulties of archiving, standards or difficulties of preservation, and other theoretical, technical, or topical investigations.
Topics of interest can include but are by no means limited to:
- Legality, authority, or dissemination of archives
- Structures of the digital environment or how interfaces affect the archival enterprise
- Digitization and dynamics of globalization, imperialism, local movements
- Distinctions between public and private spaces
- Anonymity, erotics of encounter, role playing, and new or temporary subjectivities formed in contributing to or observing digital archives
- Archived memory in life-writing (autobiography, letters, journals, blogs, etc.)
- Archives, access, and “the aura” of a work
- The role of manuscripts, illuminated or otherwise
- Preservation and transmission of oral or written histories and memory
- Literary variorum
- Questions of old canons, new canons, and the end of the canon
The conference will be held the weekend of April 6th and 7th at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY and will be hosted by the English Department and the Program in Visual and Cultural Studies, as well as being funded by the Humanities Project. There will be multiple keynote speakers. Previous conference proceedings have been published in (In)Visible Culture. We are seeking interdisciplinary work in various fields, given as 20 minute papers, artist presentations, or other scholarly/professional visual presentations.
Please submit 500 word abstracts, including 5-10 digital images if you are proposing an artist talk or visual presentation, to email@example.com by Wednesday, January 31, 2007.
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