The History of England and the Future of the Archive

5 August 2009 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

| Dick Langlois |

I just received a newsletter from our Humanities Institute announcing (among other things) a graduate student conference at Yale in February on “The Past’s Digital Presence: Database, Archive, and Knowledge Work in the Humanities.” Here are some of the suggested possible topics:

  • The Future of the History of the Book
  • Public Humanities
  • Determining Irrelevance in the Archive
  • Defining the Key-Word
  • The Material Object in Archival Research
  • Local Knowledge, Global Access
  • Digital Afterlives
  • Foucault, Derrida, and the Archive
  • Database Access Across the Profession
  • Mapping and Map-Based Platforms
  • Interactive Research

I draw your attention to the fourth from the bottom. It reminds my childhood, which I spent in Catholic schools through twelfth grade: no matter how secular the topic, there had to be at least a perfunctory mention of religion. (We were even encouraged to inscribe JMJ, for Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, at the top of our papers, though as I recall only the girls actually did this.) In the humanities, there has to be some obeisance to Postmodernism, however irrelevant to the topic.

The newsletter also mentioned, and rightly praised, a fascinating article in the Harvard alumni magazine called “Who Killed the Men of England?” My Scandinavian colleagues may want to take particular note.

Entry filed under: - Langlois -, Conferences, Ephemera, Pomo Periscope, Recommended Reading.

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