Interesting archives in the news

April 23rd, 2009

The future of digital archives are always in question. I know we talked in class about the fate of libraries in Britain with the looming Olympic extravaganza, but smaller archives and minority collections don’t usually get the same level of press when they are threatened. There is a real bias in what gets saved, what remains accessible and how collections (even ‘access’ itself) get shaped:

Digital Archives that Disappear by Scott Jaschik

Blind Spots: Humanists Must Plan Their Digital Future by Johanna Drucker


A reminder for tonight…

March 9th, 2009

I think i forgot to remind you (in all of the excitement last week) that you are supposed to watch a film on the JFK assassination (any one) for tonight. We are going to watch Image of an Assassination (1998) in class, but it will lead to a livelier discussion if you have boned up on some of the different theories/portrayals of the event. If you can’t find anything else, you might watch Vantage Point, which is the Pete Travis’s retelling of the JFK assassination as a response to the Pasolini article we are reading for tonight.


CFP: Language in the (New) Media: Technologies and Ideologies

February 16th, 2009

Thursday, September 3 to Sunday, September 6, 2009
University of Washington
Seattle, WA, USA

Download a PDF version of this call for papers

Keynote speakers

This is the third in a series of conferences organized around the role of the media in relation to the representation, construction and/or production of language. The first two conferences were held at Leeds University, England: in 2005, Language in the Media: Representations, Identities, Ideologies, and, in 2007, Language Ideologies and Media Discourse: Texts, Practices, Policies. In 2009, the conference will be leaving Leeds and coming to Seattle.

Conference theme
We invite you to submit abstracts for papers which explore the representation, construction and/or production of language through the technologies and ideologies of new media – the digital discourse of blogs, wikis, texting, instant messaging, internet art, video games, virtual worlds, websites, emails, podcasting, hypertext fiction, graphical user interfaces, and so on. Of equal interest are the ways that new media language is metalinguistically represented, constructed and/or produced in print and broadcast media such as newspapers and television (see below).
With this new media theme in mind, the 2009 conference will continue to prioritize papers which address the scope of the AILA Research Network on Language in the Media by examining the following types of contexts/issues:

  • standard languages and language standards;
  • literacy policy and literacy practices;
  • language acquisition;
  • multilingualism and cross-/inter-cultural communication;
  • language and communication in professional contexts;
  • language and class, dis/ability, race/ethnicity, gender/sexuality and age;
  • media representations of speech, thought and writing;
  • language and education;
  • political discourse;
  • language, commerce and global capitalism.

Abstract submission
Please submit abstracts for papers (20 minutes plus 10 for discussion) by email to no later than Thursday 26 February 2009. Abstracts should include a title, your contact details (name, mailing address, email) and a description of your paper (250 -350 words). The conference committee will begin reviewing abstract submissions immediately after the deadline; notification of acceptance will be Thursday 19 March. (Please send your abstract as a Word document or in the body of your email.)

Program and registration
In order to help your early planning for the conference, we have already finalized the basic program structure for the conference a copy of which can be downloaded here (as a PDF). This outline shows the start and finish times of the conference, the main social events (reception, BBQ and conference dinner), as well as lunches and coffee breaks. The conference planning committee is also arranging an optional program of tours and activities for Sunday 06 September. A business meeting for the AILA Network will also be scheduled for the Sunday morning.

Official conference registration will begin on Thursday 19 March, with early registration ending Thursday 21 May. The final deadline for presenter registration will be Thursday 23 July in order to be included in the final program. Registrations after 23 July will be charged an additional late registration fee of $25.00.

Conference registration
Early registration – until 21 May $350
Early registration (full-time students) $300
Registration – until 23 July $380
Registration (full-time students) $330
Day rate registration (accepted until 20 August) $150

Movies available in the eCreate Lab

February 11th, 2009

There are copies of Adele Horne’s The Tailenders (72 minutes) and Tom Trusky’s James Castle: Dream House (32 minutes) available for you to watch in the eCreate Lab. Trusky’s film is intensely problematic, starting from the premise that Castle must have been abused because such an artist clearly could not have flourished in a rural environment. The film we will watch in class, James Castle: Portrait of an Artist, reveals–on the basis of solid research–that in fact Castle (and his talent) were emotionally nourished and encouraged by his family.

Special Collections – next week

February 11th, 2009

Hi gang,

We will spend the first hour of next Monday’s class in Special Collections. Please convene outside the 6th floor elevator at 6 pm. Archivist Lea Worcester will meet us there.


Nazi archive

February 8th, 2009

An interesting article in the New York Times this week about a briefcase full of documents that finally answered the questions surrounding the final days of the elusive most wanted Nazi, Doctor Death.

February 05, 2009
Uncovering Lost Path of the Most Wanted Nazi
Aribert Ferdinand Heim, wanted for medical atrocities at concentration camps, lived in Cairo until his death in 1992. His hiding place was unknown until now.

Class slides available for download

February 2nd, 2009

Just to let you know, the slides i show in class are available for download from the syllabus page of our course website:

I’ll try to post them in advance of each class, but i may not always make it.

I have added the blog links for everyone who has sent them to me. I think we are only missing Carla now (who had an unhelp desk ordeal).

Documentary, the Archive, the Database and the Interface

January 27th, 2009

Hi gang,

As we discussed in the first class, we will be exploring memory and mnemonic technologies over the course of the term. Using documentary as our primary genre, we will ‘write’ memory and history as a means of exploring the theoretical parameters of the archive and its modern day counterpart, the database.

You can post your comments and reading/screening reflections on your own blog, or make comments on postings on this motherblog. I have added all of the blog links I have received so far.

Next week, we will be discussing Derrida’s Archive Fever, Sigmund Freud’s “A Note Upon the Mystic Writing Pad”, Spieker’s “Freud’s Files” (see handout) and Warhol’s one-page “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)”.

And good news–Harvey Graff has agreed to join us to discuss his book, The Dallas Myth, via remote chat on February 23rd. We are just working out the logistics of getting him connected.