venerdì 9 marzo 2012
Archive Time by Ben Hutchinson and Shane Weller @ Comparative Critical Studies, Volume 8, Number 2-3, October 2011
Archive Time by Ben Hutchinson and Shane Weller
Comparative Critical Studies, Volume 8, Number 2-3, October 2011
Since the early 1990s, it has become common practice in the humanities to refer to the "archival turn". As theorized by the anthropologist Ann Laura Stoler, this expression is generally taken to indicate a shift in focus from "archive-as-source" to "archive-as-subject". In the Anglophone world, the 1996 publication of Jaques Derrida's Mal d'archive in English translation was arguably the high-water mark of this shift, which was certainly not restricted to literary theorists. Indeed, it is striking just of how widespread the archival turn has been: from post-colonialists to digital theorists, from historians and sociologists to literary and art critics, scholars from across the humanities have hailed the emergency of a new episteme. Almost three decades after Michel de Certeau suggested that "the transformation of archival activity is the point of departure and the condition of a new history", it is now possible to construct an archive of archive studies. In his 1967 essay "Des Espaces Autres", Michel Foucault established the archive as one of the dominant paradigms of modernity. According to Foucault:
The idea of accumulating everything, of establishing a sort of general archive, the will to enclose in one place all times, all epochs, all forms, all tastes, the idea of constituting a place of all times that is itself outside of time and inaccessible to its ravages, the project of organizing in this way a sort of perpetual and indefinite accumulation of time in an immobile place, this whole idea belongs to our modernity.