HomeArchives of the Diaspora - Diaspora of the Archives

Archives of the Diaspora - Diaspora of the Archives

Archives de la diaspora - Diaspora des archives

Archive der Diaspora - Diaspora der Archive

The Memory of Dispersion in the German-speaking World

Penser la mémoire de la dispersion à partir de l’espace germanophone

Gedächtnisse der Zerstreuung im deutschsprachigen Raum

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Published on Tuesday, November 05, 2019 by Anastasia Giardinelli

Summary

The archives as sites of transmission and of memory, be it in the form of written documents, photographies or objects, archives concern every one. In the wake of Cultural and Memory Studies and in the context of an increasing digitization of archival documents on a global scale, there has been a renewed interest in research projects focusing on Jewish archives as strategic places of knowledge production.

Announcement

Conference, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme, Paris, 11-12 June, 2020

Argument

As sites of transmission and of memory, be it in the form of written documents, photographies or objects, archives concern every one. In the wake of Cultural and Memory Studies and in the context of an increasing digitization of archival documents on a global scale, there has been a renewed interest in research projects focusing on Jewish archives as strategic places of knowledge production.

In this context, researchers in Jewish history face several problems. Many collections have disappeared, others have been displaced from their place of origin (or production) over the course of history, and often, fragmented archives of the same corpus are kept in different places. As recently pointed out by Joachim Schlör, Lisa M. Leff and James Jordan (Jewish Migration and the Archive, 2017), one of the reasons for archival movements is the – constrained or chosen

– mobility that has often accompanied Jewish lives. Part of Jewish history is indeed a history of migration and dispersion: migration from rural areas to cities, migration within cities, migration from one country or continent to another. Hence diasporic archives are sources for understanding how a minority thought about and represented itself in the world.

Looking at the case of Jews who came from the German-speaking world or who made their way through it, this conference aims at questioning the dialectical link between archives as places of collection, and the diaspora as a form of dispersion. Rather than starting from a pre- conception of the archive that tends to essentialize the document and its content, the workshop will question how archives might capture the dynamics of the Jewish diaspora – a history of movement, of connections and networks, but also a history of fragmentation and absence. Jewish archives can indeed tell a story of dispersion and this has direct repercussions on the work of researchers. How important is the journey one has to undertake to find them, the place where they are located? How can one deal with collections that evade the historian’s principles of order, completeness and objectivity because of their fragmented and incomplete nature? Is it possible to map or chart them? What kind of past do we access in the case of such archives?

Papers may be centered on the archives of a person or group of individuals in order to analyze phenomena of dispersion or the emergence of polarities. The means by which researchers account for this dispersion and materialize it will also be taken into account, as well as the means implemented by some to collect dispersed documents and reconstitute a coherent body

of documents or archival collection. What is kept and transported from one place to another? What is lost?

As starting points, we can either take the physical and intimate contact with archives (boxes, documents, fragments...), the emotions they can arouse, the conflicts (among others concerning their property) they can spark, the way in which they are exhibited. Or we might think about oral archives in dematerialized form, as practices in the digital humanities provide opportunities to make dispersion tangible and dispersed material accessible.

Submission guidelines

Proposals in French, German or English should be sent by 30 November 2019 to:

diasporas@sorbonne-nouvelle.fr

Please send:

  • your surname, first name and institutional affiliation
  • a title and summary (500 words maximum in French, German or English)
  • a short biography including your research orientations, recent publications, etc. (2-3 lines)

Answers will be provided by 15 January 2020.

Organizing committee

  • Patrick Farges (Université de Paris)
  • Sonia Goldblum (Université de Haute Alsace)
  • Heidi Knörzer (Ecole polytechnique)
  • Katja Schubert (Université Paris Nanterre)
  • Céline Trautmann-Waller (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3/I

Places

  • Musée d'art et d'histoire du judaïsme, Paris
    Paris, France (75)

Date(s)

  • Saturday, November 30, 2019

Keywords

  • diaspora, archives, minorités juives

Contact(s)

  • Heidi Knorzer
    courriel : heidiknoerzer [at] web [dot] de

Information source

  • Heidi Knorzer
    courriel : heidiknoerzer [at] web [dot] de

To cite this announcement

« Archives of the Diaspora - Diaspora of the Archives », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, November 05, 2019, https://calenda.org/699605

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