So far we have talked a lot about archives in the abstract, and about the portfolio and student-directed/centered learning based models that are core to how the curriculum of IAS is laid out. For the rest of the quarter, we are going to work on thinking about those things together by having you create your own self-directed, self-reflective archives (critical inventories, if we want to use concepts from the Gramsci reading!). The next step in that direction is to think more specifically about different kinds of archives, how they work, and what kinds of knowledges and narratives they can create and convey.
Have a look at the different examples of archives linked in the syllabus today. What kinds of things (“artifacts”) are contained/represented in these archives? How are they organized, described, indexed? Who is involved, and how? What kinds of narratives and knowledge do these archives present; what issues and questions do they direct our attention to and prompt us to think about (and/or perhaps not think about!)? How do you think all of those things (the artifacts themselves, the organization and structure, the people involved, and the knowledge and narratives the archives suggest) might be interconnected?
Write up a couple paragraphs addressing these questions, using specific examples from the archives as much as you can. Also include any questions that you have about anything you are seeing in relation to these questions posed above. Be prepared to actively discuss these matters in class, using the examples.