Unstable Archives: A Workshop on Gender and Digital Humanities in South Asia

- Jamal Elias, Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities
  University of Pennsylvania
- Sneha Krishnan, Associate Professor of Geography
  University of Oxford
- Durba Mitra, Assistant Professor of Women, Gender and Sexuality
  Harvard University
Megan Robb, Julie and Martin Franklin Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
  University of Pennsylvania
- Anna Lise Seastrand, Assistant Professor of Art History
  University of Minnesota- Twin Cities
Layli Uddin, Project Curator Tow Centuries of Indian Print
  British Library

Please join us for a day of discussion on how digital humanities and feminist approaches both destabilize the archive and offer new opportunities to reshape the archive as a mode of translation and mediation.

Both digital historians and scholars of feminist and queer studies have made compelling contributions that complicate understandings of the archive, its materiality and its potentials for engaging questions about selfhood, emotion, and time. This scholarship has emphasized material objects as sites of attachment, and of witness to marginalized political subjectivities. It has generated debate on how material objects and ephemera might be read, bringing about intersections with performativity theory and the study of drama. In doing so, scholars have problematized the distinction between textual and non-textual archives, and asked how objects and texts in the archive circulate and construct historical and national time. The
digitization of archives has pushed scholars to think more critically about material history and futurity. An emergent scholarship examines digitization as a mode of translation and mediation between past and future.

The workshop will build on these debates, while aiming to conceptually engage the question of objects and ephemera in a digital archive, through the lens of feminist and queer theory, as well as South Asia-focused postcolonial history. Our work will reorient this scholarship towards the particular
consideration of how digitization might complicate feminist and postcolonial debates on archival practice. In particular, the questions that will drive our workshop are:

- How do things and ephemera complicate and open up new potentials in Digital History    and the practice of archiving?
- In what ways can we draw on new materialisms, as well as queer and feminist scholarship to unsettle the duality of textual and non-textual archive?
- Are there other categories of archival "things" that emerge from this kind of conversation that are more helpful?
- How does an archive of ephemera unsettle categories of gender, region and even of historical time in South Asia?

Event Date: 
Saturday, September 08, 2018, 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Event Location: 

Class of 1978 Pavillion
Kislak Center
Van Pelt Library, 6th Floor