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Wed 14 Nov, Wed 21 Nov, Wed 28 Nov 2018
13:00 - 15:00

Venue: Pembroke Street Lecture Theatre - Division of Biological Anthropology

Provided by: Social Sciences Research Methods Programme


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Working with Archives

Wed 14 Nov, Wed 21 Nov, Wed 28 Nov 2018

Description

This unit is an introduction to archival research methods for postgraduates. Our goal is to develop an understanding of the key values and practices of both archival preservation and interpretation. Knowing the values and practices at the interface between evidence and argumentation will allow us to formulate a better awareness of the logics, accounts, and justifications of the methods researchers employ to do their work. Participants will develop a familiarity with the main considerations and techniques used in archival research as well as the different archival resources available to undertake independent research projects.

Target audience

The unit is open to postgraduates with an interest in archive-based research. No prior experience is the field required. All disciplinary approaches are welcome to join, though the content will be based upon qualitative research techniques and considerations.

Sessions

Number of sessions: 3

# Date Time Venue Trainer
1 Wed 14 Nov 2018   13:00 - 15:00 13:00 - 15:00 Pembroke Street Lecture Theatre - Division of Biological Anthropology map Dr W.E. Kutz
2 Wed 21 Nov 2018   13:00 - 15:00 13:00 - 15:00 Pembroke Street Lecture Theatre - Division of Biological Anthropology map Dr W.E. Kutz
3 Wed 28 Nov 2018   13:00 - 15:00 13:00 - 15:00 Pembroke Street Lecture Theatre - Division of Biological Anthropology map Dr W.E. Kutz
Objectives

By the end of the semester students should be able to:

  • To develop conceptual and methodological skills necessary to undertake independent archival research;
  • To understand the values and limitations of archive-based research;
  • To have a proficiency of the archival services available to social scientists in Cambridge and beyond;
  • To use archival resources to develop and complete an independent research project.
Aims
  • To examine the ways social scientists ask questions, employ methods, and assess evidence in the interpretation of the past;
  • To investigate some of the key assumptions, hypotheses, values shaping contemporary historiography;
  • To develop an understanding of the narrative strategies available for social research and argumentation.
  • To raise awareness and engagement with archival resources and institutions in the region.
Format

The unit will be taught as a mixture of lectures and discussion groups.

Topics and Selected Readings

Session 1: Archival Research – Whose archive, whose story?

  • Booth, W.C., G.G. Colomb, J.M. Williams. 2008. The Craft of Research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 3rd edition.
  • Ramsey, A., W.B. Sharer, B. L’Eplattenier, & L.S. Mastrangelo. 2010. Working in the Archives: Practical Research Methods for Rhetoric and Composition. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
  • Memmi, A. 1991. The Colonizer and the Colonized. Boston: Beacon Press.
  • Scott, J.W. 1988. Gender and the Politics of History. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Trouillot, M.-R. 1995. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Boston: Beacon Press.


Session 2: Evidence and Interpretation – Narrating the archive

  • Cronon, W. 1992. A place for stories: Nature, history, and narrative. The Journal of American History, 78(4): 1347-1376.
  • Darnton, R. 1984. The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History. New York: Basic Books.
  • Demos, J. 1995. Preface and ‘Beginnings’. The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America. New York: Vintage Books.
  • Farish, M. 2005. Archiving areas: The ethnogeographic board and the Second World War. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 95(3): 663-679.
  • Ginzburg, C. The inquisitor as anthropologist. In: Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Mah, H. 1991. Supressing the text: The metaphisics of ethnographic history in Darnton’s Great Cat Massacre. History Workshop, 31(1): 1-20.


Session 3: Ethics, Authenticity, Truth

  • Appelby, J., L. Hunt, & M. Jacobs. 1994. Telling the Truth About History. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
  • Farish, M. 2005. Archiving areas: The ethnogeographic board and the Second World War. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 95(3), 663-679.
  • Heffernan M, 2001, "A dream as frail as those of ancient Time": the in-credible geographies of Timbuctoo. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 19(2): 203 – 225
  • McKee, H.A. and Porter, J.E., 2012. The ethics of archival research. College Composition and Communication, 64(1), 59-81.
  • Withers, C. 2002. Mapping the Niger, 1798–1832: Trust, Testimony and ‘Ocular Demonstration’ in the Late Enlightenment. Imago Mundi: The International Journal for the History of Cartography, 56(2), 170-193.
Assessment

This module is not assessed.


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