The writer-director Stephen Poliakoff’s thematic concerns with history and memory have repeatedly returned to the archive as a site of discovery. Poliakoff’s use, and exploration, of archives in his work has coincided with a marked rise in mainstream cultural engagement with archives for personal use, as well as an archival turn in literary scholarship. This article explores the different types of archive and archival material found in Poliakoff’s dramas for stage and screen, mapping the topography of public and private archives in his work, in turn revealing the commentaries these dramas are making about how we create and use archives, and who and what they are for.
Stephen Poliakoff and the Archive
Elizabeth C. Macknight
This article presents two case studies, from Scotland and the Scottish Islands, of communities' engagement with archives and their attitudes toward heritage. The case studies arise out of knowledge transfer between an historian employed in an academic role at a Scottish university and two “third sector“ organizations. By comparing the perspectives of historians, archivists, and community organizations the article shows the different ways in which these separate interest groups perceive the value of archives. It then points to some of the possibilities and challenges of working collaboratively to deepen understanding about the past and to create wider opportunities, now and in the future, for historical interpretation, teaching, learning, and research. In the era of digital technologies, it is recommended that undergraduate students be taught the key concepts of archival theory and practice, while also being encouraged to experience working with original archival documents.
l'« Esquisse d'une théorie de la magie »
Dans une livraison précédente de la revue, nous avions évoqué le cas particulier des archives de Marcel Mauss, désormais conservées à l’IMEC. Ce fonds d’archives retrace une grande part de la vie savante et politique de Marcel Mauss, mais également de celle d’Henri Hubert, son « jumeau de travail » décédé en 1927 et dont Mauss récupéra une partie des archives. Ces documents lui servirent, entre autres, pour terminer la publication, dans la collection « L’évolution de l’Humanité » dirigée par Henri Berr, des deux volumes que Hubert consacra à l’histoire des Celtes et des Germains (Bert, 2010).
In recent years, “the archive“ as both a concept and an object has been undergoing a transformation. The increased availability of still and video cameras, analog and then digital, has led to a proliferation of indexical documents outside of official archives and prompted questions about what constitutes an “archive,“ and, hence, what constitute “archival documents.“ At the same time, filmmakers are appropriating sounds and images from various sources, thereby breaking down the distinction between “found“ and “archival“ documents. This situation calls for a reformulation of the very notion of the archival document. This article reframes the archival document not as an object but as a spectatorial experience or a relationship between viewer and text. I contend that certain appropriated audiovisual documents produce for the viewer what I call the “archive effect“ and that this encounter endows these documents with a particular kind of authority as “evidence.“
W. S. F. Pickering
The Centre very much appreciates the donation of Mrs Margaret M. Jeffrey of English translations by her late husband, Professor William Jeffrey, Jr, of works written by Durkheim and his group, especially Mauss and Fauconnet. Professor Jeffrey was professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati for many years. It was while he was studying law at the University of Chicago that he came under the influence of teachers in sociology.
How the Komsomol Archive Enriched My Understanding of Gender in Soviet War Culture
Adrienne M. Harris
In this article, I detail how archival finds helped me develop questions on World War II martyr heroes and their role in Soviet culture and Russian collective memory. I consider how one might approach silences, read discrepancies in archival holdings, and extrapolate meaning from various kinds of documents. Considering that the Russian State Archive of Sociopolitical History Komsomol archive allows one to study the evolution of gender via the continuous reshaping of feminine and masculine ideals for Soviet youth, I discuss how the archive might open up new research areas and prompt additional questions for gender historians, and lead one to reconsider power and authority in the Soviet past.
Heather Fitzsimmons Frey
In this article I explore the implications and challenges of applying the tenets of twenty-first century, girl-centered ethical research methodologies to a study of archived diaries, letters, and cultural ephemera made by Victorian girls. Archives of the words of young people can be augmented by the judicious application of knowledge that Victorian girls could not have had, and by using the ways in which contemporary young people theorize their own lived experiences. I suggest that the words of twenty-first century young people who participate in qualitative research studies may be used to speak to without speaking for historically located girls. In seeking an ethical girl-centered approach to learning about these long-deceased girls I call on aspects of Victorian studies and on studies that focus on youth and girlhood, as well as on contemporary drama in education within an overarching framework of ideas about the porosity of time and space.
The Case of Evegeniia Serebrennikova, Pioneering Woman Physician in Late Nineteenth-Century Russia
This article examines the life of one early woman doctor, Evgeniia Serebrennikova (1854–1897), a graduate of the St. Petersburg women’s medical courses and an eye doctor in Perm. Serebrennikova established an eye clinic in Perm, wrote numerous articles, gave talks at medical conferences at home and abroad, and was a fixture in Perm’s philanthropic life. Despite these achievements, there are few traces of her in the archives. The article also discusses the author’s research trajectory and the difficulties involved in finding evidence about women such as Serebrennikova.
Institutional Memories of the Potlatch Collection Repatriation
Working largely from archival documents, this article examines the material traces of the confiscated and repatriated Kwakwaka’wakw potlatch collection that remains in the museum register. I unpack the museum register to demonstrate that, in lieu of a predetermined repatriation process, museum staff relied instead on existing administrative processes to navigate this largely uncharted territory of repatriation in the 1960s. These highly formalized processes or rituals served to reaffirm institutional identity in the face of an uncontrollable element—repatriation. Using the museum register, this article provides a historical lens through which to view the personal and institutional shifts that were necessary for this early repatriation to occur. The contemporary repatriation ceremonies performed by Kwakwaka’wakw peoples and the contemporary significance of the repatriated regalia in Alert Bay and Cape Mudge point to the ways repatriation processes and relationships have changed over time.
Civil War Executions and the Harvard Irish Study
This article traces ideological constructions of communication that enable powerful actors to determine what counts as silences, lies and surpluses in efficacious narratives about violence (Briggs 2007) in order to elucidate occlusions regarding legacies of the Civil War in the Irish Free State. It does so through a precise triangulation of multiple competing and overlapping narratives from unpublished fieldnotes, interviews, published ethnographies and other first-person accounts. The inquiry highlights social memories of the Irish Civil War that have been 'assumed, distorted, misunderstood, manipulated, underestimated, but most of all, ignored' (Dolan 2003: 2). The article argues that the excesses of the anthropological archive make the recuperation of a multiplicity of collective memories possible through a linguistic anthropological perspective that enumerates the kind of erasures at play in contentious memory-making moments, highlights polyvocality in metapragmatic discourse and tracks the gaps in entextualisation processes of historical narratives about political turmoil.