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Andrew Flinn guest researcher at CCHS/Archives cluster


Andrew Flinn, a Reader in Archival Studies and Oral History in the Department of Information Studies at University College London, and vice chair of the UK Community Archives will be guest researcher at the University of Gothenburg during December 2017. He will be hosted by the research cluster Embracing the Archives within the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies and based at the Department of Cultural Sciences.

Flinn’s research interests include independent and community-based archival practices, archival activism and social justice, and participatory approaches to knowledge production aiming at social change. His publications include (with Duff and Wallace) Archives and Social Justice, Routledge (forthcoming 2018), ‘Working with the past: making history of struggle part of the struggle’ in Reflections on Knowledge, Learning and Social Movements (eds Aziz & Vally, 2018) and 'Community Archives' in Encyclopaedia of Archival Science (eds Duranti & Franks 2015).

During his stay Flinn gives a seminar on Community-based archives, sites of recovery, resistance and aspiration: Another world is always possible. Based on the speaker’s many years of working in and researching with community archives, this talk will introduce independent and community-based archives as they are understood and found in the UK (with reference also to Europe, Australia, North America and elsewhere) by examining their origins and connections with other participatory knowledge production and history from below movements such as oral history, History Workshop and Sven Lindqvist’s Dig Were You Stand. The talk will then illustrate some of the variety of both analogue and digital archiving endeavours and then explore how such initiatives perform multiple roles following different missions and mandates, including not only documenting contested and hidden histories but also employing the ‘useful’ past as a mobilising and affective tool for building solidarities and explaining the role of the past in the understanding of the present and in the framing of and aspiring to alternative imagined futures.

The seminar will be held December 6, 15.15-17.00, Vasa1, Department of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg.