CALL FOR PAPERS
Contaminating Archives: Documenting Power and Resistance in Southeast Asia and Southeast Asian America
February 8-10, 2024
University of Washington Libraries
We invite participants to reconsider the role of historical collections in relation to concepts of care and restitution and as forms of empowerment against state-sponsored violence and community erasure. We take our title from the notion of the archive as a living and dynamic force, considering how the archive and the act of archiving can empower, but also contaminate and be contaminated. We look at different kinds of archives and their dangers of contamination: colonial documents and photographs, records of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, forensic evidence of the atrocities of the Marcos regime and the “drug wars” in the Philippines, and contemporary state violence in Burma. The conference seeks to bring together Critical Archival Studies scholars with archives practitioners, artists, and communities of interest who are touched by these archives: communities whose histories are constrained by the archives’ narrations; journalists who are contaminated by reporting and archiving authoritarian violence; artists and filmmakers engaged in mediating this violence in public cultural projects of reconciliation and restitution.
We are looking for papers that address the following themes:
- The role of archives in public projects promoting reconciliation and restitution in communities of harm resulting from authoritarian violence
- The role of archives in public pedagogy and meaning-making
- Community archives as alternative sources of archival authority in knowledge production
- Theorizing the limits of archives’ authority: authority in truth-seeking versus oppressive proscription
- Exploring the violence of acts of archiving, including for journalists, archivists and government officials who experience that violence
- Critiques of colonial archives and their presumptions. Acts of redescription and responsibilities of archivists in collaboration with communities of harm
- The role of archives in judicial accountability
- How do art and curatorial practices drawing on archival materials care for, resist, or resignify histories?
- Open topics related to “Contaminating Archives”
The conference is supported by the Henry Luce Foundation LuceSea grant to the Center for Southeast Asia and its Diasporas at the University of Washington. Selected paper presenters will be provided with a subsidy of around $500 towards travel costs.
Please send any inquiries and/or a 300-500 word paper abstract to Judith Henchy (email@example.com)
Deadline for abstracts: September 1, 2023
Conference information will be posted to the website: guides.lib.uw.edu/seafellows