Call for papers: archives & traces of the past

A one-day conference will be held at the University of Edinburgh on Friday 13 January 2017, to explore the impact of new technological, conceptual and methodological ideas on how archives and their contents are now being used to ‘research the past’, and what claims can be made for the result. This call for is for papers regarding all forms of archival research, with ‘the archive’ cast wide to spread from National Archives, to local archives, to buttonboxes and photograph albums, to radical-archives-in-the-making, to digital collections and more, and how ‘the trace’ shapes up in relation to them. More information on the conference theme, papers and a registration form is in the attached file.

The idea of ‘the trace’ concerns the flotsam and jetsam of the things of the past that remain and which necessarily inform or shape present-time investigations of times gone by. Traces can be written, visual, oral, material, musical, digital… Currently ‘the trace’ is being multiply impacted at ontological, epistemological, methodological and material levels by a succession of developments – including new theory, expanded ideas about archives, innovative methodologies, and new technological developments around digital images and electronic forms of assemblage and representation. There are powerful reverberations resulting. For some, what is ‘an archive’, what is ‘a collection’ and what is ‘a document’ are now all up for grabs. For others, the trace remains at a kaleidoscopic core and has to be reckoned with. So let’s stand back and talk about it!

Please send a title and an abstract of not more than 400 words with your offer of a paper as an email attachment to Liz Stanley, Sociology, University of Edinburgh, email address:

Closing date for offers: The closing date for offers of papers is Monday 7 November 2016.

Registration for attendance: Registration for the event is open NOW! There is no charge. However, room capacity is limited and therefore early registration is encouraged. There is a registration form in the attached email – please complete and send the form to the email address above. The final date for registration will be 18 December, but numbers will be limited to 40, so please register asap to avoid disappointment.

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