The archive and questions of its politics, infrastructures, and technologies are a prominent focus of research within Gender, Sexuality, and Postcolonial Studies. In recent years, universities, museums of natural history as well as ethnological museums, national archives and scientific collections, both in North America and in Western Europe, have undergone increased academic as well as public scrutiny regarding their historical entanglements with colonial history. The focus has been on the specific material collected and preserved, the archives’ content and its representation, the production of data (cultural, social, biological, etc.) as well as the very politics of selection, the historical narratives they enable, and the gaps they necessarily entail. Whose and what knowledges are archived and what is absent? What concepts of history, belonging or life itself do different archives generate and pass on?
In this seminar we will focus on different conceptions of gendered and racialised archives (archives as tangible collections, but also “archives of feelings” (Cvetkovich), archives of migration (Römhild) and “critical fabulation” (Hartman) as responses to the ‘empty’ archive of slavery). In addition to the theoretical debates surrounding the so-called archival turn, we will draw on cultural materials from US and Germany and explore different archives and their politics.
A reader with texts will be provided at the beginning of the semester via Moodle.
Geöffnet für Gender Studies!