CFP: The Permissive Archive

The neglected theme of epistolary archives – the active collection and curation of letter objects and related papers within various social and institutional ecosystems over broad expanses of time – is close to the heart of Cultures of Knowledge, so we’re delighted to see that friends and colleagues at the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters at QMUL are organizing a fascinating-sounding anniversary conference on The Permissive Archive. To be held at CELL in November 2012, the conference ‘seeks presentations from a wide range of work which opens up archives – not only by bringing to light objects and texts that have lain hidden, but by demystifying and demonstrating the skills needed to make new histories’. Aiming to rescue archives from their persistent but wildly misleading association with neutrality, inertia, and ‘settled dust’, the conference invites proposals (which should cover the period 1500-1800) on definitions of permissive archives; the shape of the archive – ideology and interpretation; the archive which challenges or disrupts; dispersed collections; the archivist and the historian; the ethics and comedy of the archive; order and anarchy; and many more exciting topics.

permissive_archiveThe deadline for 300-word proposals for 25 minute papers is 31 July 2012. For full details and submission instructions, head along to the conference webpage.

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