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Archives of the Disappeared: Discipline and Method Amidst Ruin Workshop

March 21 - March 23

Registration is now open for the ‘Archives of the Disappeared: Discipline and Method Amidst Ruin’ workshop to be held at Newnham College from Thursday, 21 March to Saturday, 23 March 2024.

It is a closed, in-person only workshop of invited participants. However, we have opened up limited seats for those in Cambridge who might like to join in the conversation.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/archives-of-the-disappeared-discipline-and-method-amidst-ruin-tickets-856915285687

Archives of the Disappeared is an interdisciplinary research initiative for the study and documentation of communities, social movements, spaces, life-worlds, literatures and cultures destroyed through acts of mass violence. The initiative problematizes research practices and methodologies in contexts of mass destruction and extermination. Beginning in 2018, we embarked on a deep-dive into the conceptual and empirical scholarship and challenges of archiving disappeared communities.

The communities whose lives we study are survivors of serial annihilating practices targeting their homelands, livelihoods, cosmologies, and cultural works. We propose to explore how those who survived annihilation created new kinds of archives, genres of evidentiary practice, cultural forms, and techniques of documentation. With this international ingathering, we ask: how do we view ‘the empirical’ and ‘the imaginary’ when annihilation is central to our inquiry? What is to be found in the aftermath of destruction, and how can it be mobilized to question our disciplinary epistemologies and methodologies?

As the study of annihilation (in its various forms) is a core thread that runs through our project, so is the concept and method of archive. We ask, how does annihilation shape and transform the archive? What of archival research in the absence of archive?

The workshop will bring together scholars and artists who will address these questions through a range of sites and approaches. An open discussion among the participants will follow, with the aim to delve critically and rigorously into the stakes and methodologies of disappearance and archive.

Programme will be circulated to registered participants.

This is a closed in-person workshop.

Co-sponsored by Kettle’s Yard

Funded by the Cambridge Humanities Research Grant (CHRG), the Margaret Anstee Centre for Global Studies and Senior Members Research Support (SMRS), Newnham College. This workshop was also supported by the Smuts Memorial Fund (SMUTS), managed by the University of Cambridge, in memory of Jan Christiaan Smuts. The research network that led to this workshop was supported by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge.


March 21
March 23


Old Labs, Newnham College
Newnham College
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB3 9DF United Kingdom