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Talk: “Potential History of the Archive: The Micro Study of a Macro Institution” by Ariella Azoulay

Part of the CAS/MillerComm Lecture Series

Archives are interwoven with the presence of those who occupy various positions of power, authorizing them to both preserve and expose materials, as well as with the presence of those who come to leaf through those materials. Yet, archives are also sites of “potential history,” unrealized possibility that motivated and directed the actions of various actors in the past, and of a possibility that may become our own and be reactivated to guide our actions. The power and potentiality of archives brings us to the juncture of the macro and micro, large-scale power structures and smaller scale forms of civil relations and being-together that existed, and exist, at any moment in history without being shaped solely let alone exhausted by macro institutions.

This talk will draw on Professor Azoulay’s micro engagement with photographic archives of U.S. slavery and Jim Crow to argue for the civil possibilities within the macro structures and macro histories of regime-made disasters.

The CAS/MillerComm public events series brings to campus people who offer unique cross-disciplinary contributions to the intellectual and cultural life of the university.

This Center for Advanced Study event is hosted by the Department of Communication and the Program in Art History in conjunction with the College of Education, Department of African American Studies, Department of Anthropology, Department of Asian American Studies, Department of English, Department of Gender & Women’s Studies, Department of History, Department of Media and Cinema Studies, Department of Philosophy, Department of Political Science, Department of Sociology, Krannert Art Museum, Program in American Indian Studies, Program in Arms Control & Domestic and International Security, Program in Jewish Culture and Society, School of Art + Design, School of Information Sciences, Spurlock Museum, and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory.

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For further information, visit the Center for Advanced Study (external link) or call (217) 333-6729.

To request disability-related accommodations for this event, please contact Brian Cudiamat at (217) 244-5586 or (email link).