Culture Archives and the State:
Between Socialism, Nationalism and the Global Market
Organizers: Dorothy Noyes,
Associate Professor of English, Comparative Studies, and Anthropology; Margaret Mills, Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
Thursday-Saturday, May 3-5, 2007
Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43201
Culture Archives and the State assembles scholar-practitioners from Europe and Asia to discuss the political uses of culture archives.
Not just the dusty preserve of researchers, archives define and discipline national identities, shape and censor national memories, as well as preserve cultural alternatives for future recovery. Their contents and uses are tensely negotiated between states, scholars, and citizens.
Today archives have become key sites for the reconstruction of cultures and identities in transition. Emphasizing socialist and post-socialist settings, this comparative critical conversation brings together the actors inescapably involved in the instrumentalization of folklore: archivists working in state institutions with a mandate to preserve the national culture.
The first day of the conference will address the roots of culture archives in nation-building, their revision in the service of state projects, and the strategies of evasion and concealment that undermined such projects.
On the second day, we discuss the current situation, including:
- The transition from state support to a market economy.
- A national mandate versus the need for internal and international reconciliation.
- The desire to construct a satisfying local culture against both international pressures and a repudiated recent past.
- The unforeseen consequences of objectifying culture and its practitioners.
- The tension between preservation and circulation.
The third day will be devoted to archival practice, with informal presentation of current projects and discussion of preservation, access, and collection management.
More information, including a conference program, paper abstracts, and participant biographies, is posted on the Center for Folklore Studies conference webpage.
Proceedings will be published online, with technical support from the American Folklore Society and other international folklore organizations.
Taj Mohammad Ahmad Zada, Radio-TV Afghanistan, Kabul
Regina Bendix, Georg-August Universität, Göttingen, Germany
Alina Branda, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania
Roma Chatterji, University of Delhi, India
Gao Bingzhong, Beijing University, China
Lauri Harvilahti, Finnish Literary Society, Helsinki, Finland
Renata Jambresic Kirin, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore, Zagreb, Croatia
Andy Kolovos, Vermont Folklife Center
Margaret Kruesi, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Lorraine Sakata, University of California, Los Angeles (emerita)
Cristina Sánchez-Carretero, Consejo Superior de Estudios Científicos, Madrid, Spain
Guha Shankar, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Anca Stere, Constantin Brailiou Institute, Bucharest, Romania
Ergo-Hart Västrik. Estonian Literature Society, Tartu, Estonia
The conference will begin the morning of Thursday, May 3, and end mid-afternoon on Saturday, May 5. To register for the conference lunches, please contact the Center For Folklore Studies' Adminstrative Assistant Sheila Bock at firstname.lastname@example.org. We suggest that outside attendees register at the University Plaza Hotel, where conference participants will be staying: http://www.universityplazaosu.com/
The Center for Folklore Studies is grateful to the Mershon Center for International Security Studies and the Office of International Affairs for primary funding. Additional support has been provided by the Center for Slavic and Eastern European Studies, CIRIT, Middle Eastern Studies Center, and the departments of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Slavic and East European Languages and Literatures, and East Asian Languages and Literatures. External support comes from the American Folklore Society, and the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
Associate Professor of English, Comparative Studies, and Anthropology
Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures