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The Archive and Forms of Knowledge

The Archive and Forms of Knowledge will bring together researchers from the faculties of Anthropology, Classics, English, History and Oriental Studies, to investigate the shift that the concept of the archive has undergone over the last two decades.  While the archive’s traditional role in the practice of historiography, as a source of information, often makes a fetish of it, recent criticism has redirected attention to the ways in which archives have emerged as a much fraught and problematic site, continuously thwarting rather than merely shaping our expectations of history. This movement, and the implications that it has for research methodologies in the humanities, is what the network will focus on. We will discuss, among other issues, what constitutes an archive, turning to alternative or unconventional materials as sources, the storage, circulation and exchange of archival materials, and the sensory, affective experience of archival work. In doing so, the network hopes to rethink archives as both spaces and objects.

The network is sponsored both by TORCH and Ertegun House.

The network will comprise of seminars and discussion groups, with presentations by scholars and students working with archives in potentially destabilising ways. We will also run a blog on Object Histories as part of this project. Anyone interested in joining this network, or signing-up for the mailing list should get in touch - see contact details below.


  • Dr Christopher Morton (Anthropology/Pitt Rivers Museum)
  • Ezgi Ulusoy Aranyosi (DPhil Candidate in Oriental Studies)
  • Professor Elleke Boehmer (English)
  • Dr Faisal Devji (History)
  • Dr Justine McConnell (Classics)
  • Dr Laurent Mignon (Oriental Studies)
  • Dr Margaret Hillenbrand (Oriental Studies)
  • Professor Peter McDonald (English)
  • Priyasha Mukhopadhyay (DPhil Candidate in English)

Photographic credit: Wandering Dervish, 2013