Göteborgs universitet
Close up of circuit board
Foto: Nina Romanus

The Archive in a Global and Digitized World

This strand centers on critical issues of accessibility, democracy and applicability in a globalizing archival field. The traditional “discipline” of archives has during the last decades been challenged by globalization, digitization and “post-modern” theories.

As the conventional archive represents power, nation and records that produce a certain kind of truth, it has been criticized for being a monument over itself. In a digitized world the “old” archives are developed into any database and thereby lose their exclusivity as they become searchable in the same manner as vast amounts of other records.

Today there has evolved a new and antagonistic concept of Archive that criticizes the very foundation of the “modern” archive and the practitioners of archives. At the same time there is in reality no discussion among the different groups of antagonists, where the practitioners of the archives have virtually no contact with the “post-modern” and deconstructivistic critics. An important aim for this strand is to create contacts between the different groups and work for theoretical, methodological and critical development of the field. Today we can discern that there is, or already has been, a revolution in the field of communication and the very nature of the ways we look upon, understand and work with our sources, demanding questions such as “what is an archive?” and “how can we stage it?” Consequently the strand invites any creative and critical initiative to partake in the ongoing process of revitalizing research in and on archives.