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Monday, October 7 • 11:15am - 12:00pm
Reconfiguring Archives

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Are contemporary archival practices sustainable? In the record keeping and archival tradition, the lifecycle of materials had a natural ending: records failing to demonstrate informational or evidential value were effectively disposed of or discarded. With widespread digitization and the growth and diversification of our collections, the utopian promises of transparency, reparations, and empowerment has in turn amplified what was already a problem in archival settings - namely, how to appraise, manage, and preserve increasingly complex content at new scales and in perpetuity. This discussion problematizes archives as maintainers of previous modes of archival practice and thought. It considers the lived experiences of archivists and archival scholars working with complex media to question the implications and consequences of maintaining the archival record amidst a challenging backdrop of contemporary organizational, social, and technical realities. Here are some questions we are considering: What challenges are introduced by the robust maintenance practices required to manage dynamic, complex media content? How do born-digital classification standards, schemas, and practices maintain and replicate structures of whiteness and privilege? How can we enact archival structures that facilitate “multiple regimes of authorities” (Rawson & Munoz, 2016)? How do we address dynamic and changing conceptions of what counts as “archival evidence” in different contexts? Is preservation untenable given the realities of climate change and lack of support for the reconfiguration and ongoing maintenance of archives? Is collecting a dead end? Is preservation a dead end? Does the archival model need to redress?

Monday October 7, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm EDT
4ABC (2nd Floor)