UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
ARCHIVES: Film and Feeling
Instructor: Amanda Doxtater
305-N Raitt Hall
Office Hour (zoom): Gladly by appt.
Meetings: M, W 12:30-2:20
Location: SAV 169
An archive is a place or institution, where public records and other documents are stored. The concept of the archive can refer to preservation, history, and memory. It also evokes the law, authority, and social order. The apparent temporality of the archive is often of the past, established and complete, although it is also understood to be a place of commencement, a place that will continue to determine what we know, allowing as it does certain traces to speak (while silencing or simply lacking others). SCAND 510 can address 1) physical archives in buildings or digital archives online; 2) practices and methods of archival research; or 3) the archive as a theoretical concept. This particular version of the SCAND 510 explores intersections between the archive, film, and affective archival experience.
This course explores connections between the archive and “film” broadly conceived (media), paying particular attention to affective experience in and around the archive. In the context of this course, film may include: national cinemas, small gauge institutional films, home videos, videographic essays, paracinematic materials, and also adjacent, archive-thematic visual and arts and texts. The geographic focus of the course will be the Nordic region, but our approach will always be comparative, to include institutional spaces such as the University of Washington and the NatNo (The National Nordic Museum) and beyond. Film archives in the Nordic region continue to serve simultaneous nation-building, colonizing, and democratizing functions, and can also raise awareness of the contested histories and problems of the archive. This course will think about the limitations of archival thinking and practice, and explore questions of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, etc. and work decolonizing and/or queering media archives. Last but not least, the course will consider fiction and other creative and speculative approaches to dealing with archival absence and experience. Archives elicit feelings related to the violence of exclusion and invisibilization of labor for instance, but can also inspire curiosity, play, desire, and pleasure.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES AND COMMUNITY-BUILDING:
- To contribute research materials or curation related to materials in UW Special Collections donated by the Nordic Heritage Museum as it moved to National Nordic Museum
- To write a practitioner’s statement
- To explore how film archive(s) in the Nordic region have come to be seen as contributing to the public sphere (preservation and cultivation of a shared cultural heritage, distribution of educational materials, implementation of film policy in relation to gender policy)
- To experience and reflect on some form of archival experience
Small seminars rely on student preparation and professionalism. The classroom is a community in which we learn from one another. It is essential that you come prepared to contribute to our community. Some great ways to prepare include
- Completing sufficient reading to be an informed and generous participant
- Taking notes while you read
- Preparing questions or noting passages from the reading that you would like to discuss with me and other seminar participants
None (all readings and films will be in English or subtitled). Previous experience taking film courses might be helpful, but there are no prerequisites for this course.
Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression by Jacques Derrida (1995)
I will provide additional pdfs of readings on Canvas.
COURSE ASSIGNMENTS AND EVALUATION:
20% Seminar participation (including rotating note taking /discussion leading in groups)
15% Short paper: Practitioner’s Statement /or Entry in Lexicon for an Affective Archive
15% Short paper: Archival Experience (2 pages)
15% Short paper: Focus on UW Special Collections (2 pages)
35% Final project + written reflection (10 – 12 pages) / or Research paper (12-15 pages),
including a “conference” presentation in Week 10
[Consider submitting writing something for the CFP: Speculative Approaches to Media Histories—Feminist Media Histories]
The University takes academic integrity very seriously. Behaving with integrity is part of our responsibility to our shared learning community. If you’re uncertain about if something is academic misconduct, ask me. I am willing to discuss questions you might have. See also https://www.washington.edu/cssc/facultystaff/academic-misconduct/
“Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy (https://registrar.washington.edu/staffandfaculty/religious-accommodations-policy/). Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (https://registrar.washington.edu/students/religious-accommodations-request/).”