Panel 2: Disciplinary Histories and Archives in Anthropology, Folklore, and Oral History: Actors, Formats, and Mediality in Knowledge Production

This panel brings archivists and other scholars together to discuss the theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical roles of archives in disciplinary histories and in the production of knowledge. We will pay special attention to the actors and collaborators involved in archives; the types and formats of archives and documents; and the mediality of archival material, particularly in the face of digitalisation. We will also examine key issues raised by archives as institutions for knowledge production, including issues of power relations and of access. Whose voices are heard and whose are silenced? How do the relations, and in some cases collaborations, between collectors and informants shape the material? Can we address “gaps” by reading against, or along (Stoler 2009), the archival grain? Working with “native communities” brings questions of ethics to the fore, not least regarding ownership of material. Ethical considerations are crucial at every step of the archival process: acquiring, appraising, and classifying material, as well as protecting and ensuring access to the material. In terms of knowledge formats, what different forms of archives and material formats do archivists and disciplinary historians deal with? Lastly, we welcome contributions on the mediality of archives. Among other things, digitisation has made archives and archival material more accessible. However, it has also created issues regarding data protection and the loss of contextual knowledge. Can we conceptualise archives as places where we encounter different knowledge economies?

Convenors: Hande Birkalan-Gedik (Goethe University), Susanne Österlund-Pötzsch (The Swedish Literature Society in Finland), Katre Kikas (Estonian Literary Museum).

Monday, 4 December 2023

Session I [Watch here!] — Session II [Watch here!]

The Transatlantic Republic of Letters of Franz Boas: Re-Imagining the History of Arctic Anthropology — Dmitry Arzyutov, Sergei Kan, Laura Siragusa

Reading between the lines: the archives of Catholic missionaries in Manchuria as primary sources on Indigenous encounters with Christianity — Anne Dalles Maréchal

Archiving Anthropology’s History: Reflexivity, Crisis, and Collection Development at the American Philosophical Society — Adrianna Link

“A living Semitic poetry”: re-contracting folk knowledge production in the ethnographic archive of S.D. Goitein — Tom Fogel

Regulyversum and Reguly Archive – publishing the manuscripts of the Hungarian Ethnologist Antal Reguly (1819-1858) — Eszter Ruttkay-Miklián

Ethnographic archives after years. Recycling and re-use — Filip Wróblewski

The archives as a field site: from the threshold of the archives to the reading room and back to the researcher’s desk — Anna Caroline Haubold

The Irish Folklore Commission and the Irish Civil War — Kelly Fitzgerald

Epistemologies, Devices and Archives of “Otherness” — Diego Ballestero

Teachers’ participation in collective gathering of folkloric and anthropological data — Ana Carolina Arias