24 May 2011

Repositioning Memory archive workshop, University of Exeter

Yesterday I attended a workshop event within Modern Languages at Exeter entitled 'Repositioning Memory: between the archive and the rubbish heap', organized by David Houston Jones and Chloe Paver. The workshop featured Prof. Ernst van Alphen (University of Leiden) as keynote and guest artists Paul Becker, PEN writer in residence, Antwerp.

The event offered some fascinating links back to the original Reclamation conference in many of its core discussions and themes, extending beyond the literary to include a range of speakers approaching the archive from a variety of angles, addressing the theme of recent articulations of cultural memory in terms of archival knowledge and the idea of waste. Panel themes included: the archive and ephemera; the archive and the manuscript; historical memory in Germany and Spain--buried pasts between disposal and retrieval; creativity and imposture in the archive, and the keynote address entitled 'Transgressive archiving: artistic practice using the archive'.

(Speakers also included a few of the original Reclamation conference panelists and it was great to see the progression of their research!)

I include the programme below so as to showcase the range of research and material under discussion.
All in all a stimulating event and fantastic to see such a productive exchange between a range of disciplinary approaches throughout the day.

Panel 1: The archive and ephemera
‘Cultural Memory in Action: Using Artefacts at The Bill Douglas Centre’ Phil Wickham, Curator, The Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture

‘Disposable Authors: Ephemera in the Film Archive’
Lisa Stead,Department of English, (Exeter)

Panel 2: The archive and the manuscript
‘But Who Decides What’s Rubbish? And When?’
Isabelle Cosgrave, Department of English (Exeter)

‘“Posterity is dispossessed”: Laurence Olivier’s Macbeth in the Archive’
Jennifer Barnes, Department of English (Exeter)

Panel 3: Historical memory in Germany and Spain – buried pasts between disposal and retrieval
‘The Recovery of Historical Memory in Spain’
Nuria Capdevila-Argüelles & Sally Faulkner, Department of Modern Languages (Exeter)

‘The Dictator in the Attic – in the Museum’
Chloe Paver, Department of Modern Languages (Exeter)

Panel 4: Creativity and imposture in the archive
‘If It Does Not Exist You Will Have To Invent It: Imaginary Artists and the Remediation of History’
Paul Becker (PEN writer in residence, Antwerp)

‘Arnold Dreyblatt, Christian Boltanski and the post-Holocaust archive’
David Houston Jones, Department of Modern Languages (Exeter)

Keynote address
‘Transgressive archiving: artistic practices using the archive’
Ernst van Alphen (University of Leiden)

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