Archiving the City/ City as Archive

Thursday 16 March 2017, 9.00AM to 6.00pm

A symposium organised by the Archiving the City research strand

Confirmed keynote speakers: Sharon Macdonald (Humboldt), Paul Jones (Liverpool) Rebecca Madgin (Glasgow) and Graeme Gilloch (Lancaster).


This event, hosted by the Centre for Modern Studies and supported by the Department of History and Department of Sociology, considers the cultural forms through which the modern city is archived. It examines the different ways—via institutions, public art, collective practice, and more—in which urban history and memory are organised and presented in contemporary culture. It also engages with how the spaces and architecture of the city may themselves present an archive, offering up reminders of social and cultural processes, imaginaries, struggles and events.

The symposium critically engages with Henri Lefebvre’s (2014) argument that the reign of the city is ending; that the city now only exists as an image and an idea. In addition, the gentrification and museification of the historic urban core reveals, at least in part, the deep sense of loss through which that the modern metropolis is increasingly remembered. This connects more broadly with Derrida’s (1996) notion of ‘archive fever’, which, he understands, is part of a compulsive, repetitive culture; a ‘homesickness’ born of a ‘nostalgic desire to return to the origin’ (ibid: 167).

The symposium will explore perspectives that make links between contemporary archiving processes (both formal and informal), city museums, visual culture, heritage urbanism, ‘authenticity’ and the cultural regeneration of historic urban spaces. The symposium will take an open-minded and critical approach to understanding how, why and where the modern city is archived and what such processes reveal about history, memory, social conflict and urban imaginaries.

Registration for University of York staff and students is free.  Please book your place here: http://store.york.ac.uk/product-catalogue/centre-for-modern-studies/conferences

Programme 

Archiving the City symposium programme (PDF , 280kb)

Location: The Treehouse, Berrick Saul Building

Email: gareth.millington@york.ac.uk