Refiguring the Archive / Edition 1

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Overview

Refiguring the Archive at once expresses cutting-edge debates on 'the archive' in South Africa and internationally, and pushes the boundaries of those debates. It brings together prominent thinkers from a range of disciplines, mainly South Africans but a number from other countries. Traditionally archives have been seen as preserving memory and as holding the past. The contributors to this book question this orthodoxy, unfolding the ways in which archives construct, sanctify, and bury pasts. In his contribution, Jacques Derrida (an instantly recognisable name in intellectual discourse worldwide) shows how remembering can never be separated from forgetting, and argues that the archive is about the future rather than the past. Collectively the contributors demonstrate the degree to which thinking about archives is embracing new realities and new possibilities. The book expresses a confidence in claiming for archival discourse previously unentered terrains. It serves as an early manual for a time that has already begun.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402007439
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 12/31/2002
  • Edition description: 2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 7
The Power of the Archive and its Limits 19
The Archives and the Political Imaginary 20
Archive Fever in South Africa 38
Psychoanalysis and the Archive: Derrida's Archive Fever 39
A Shaft of Darkness: Derrida in the Archive 61
Colonial Archives and the Arts of Governance: On the Content in the Form 83
'Picturing the Past' in Namibia: The Visual Archive and its Energies 103
The Archival Sliver: A Perspective on the Construction of Social Memory in Archives and the Transition from Apartheid to Democracy 135
The Archive, Public History and the Essential Truth: The TRC Reading the Past 161
The Human Genome as Archive: Some Illustrations from the South 179
'The History of the Past is the Trust of the Present': Preservation and Excavation in the Gay and Lesbian Archives of South Africa 193
'Living by Fluidity': Oral Histories, Material Custodies and the Politics of Archiving 209
Orality and Literacy in an Electronic Era 229
Holdings: Refiguring the Archive 243
Literature and the Archive: The Biography of Texts 283
Keeping the Self: The Novelist as (Self-)Archivist 301
Electronic Record-keeping, Social Memory and Democracy 323
Blackbirds and Black Butterflies 333
Biographical Notes 362
Index 366
Acknowledgements 368
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