Conferences – Call for Papers

Bodies of Archives/Archival bodies

The Organizers of the Panel 029: "Bodies of Archives/Archival bodies" at the Art, Materiality and Representation conference of the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) are calling for submissions. The Conference takes place on 1-3 June 2018 at the British Museum, Clore Centre and SOAS, Senate House, London.

  • Date: 01.06.2018 – 03.06.2018
  • Institution: Royal Anthropological Institute
  • Location: London / Großbritannien
  • Documents to: Online Form


    Giulia Battaglia (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 ) email
    Jennifer Clarke (Robert Gordon University ) email
    Fiona Siegenthaler (University of Basel) email

Short abstract

The ideas about the 'archive' as a static repository of history are being increasingly challenged in research practices and not sufficiently in anthropology. This panel calls for academic and artistic interventions that discuss objects, images and/or bodies as archives of experiences and processes.

Long abstract

The concept of the 'archive' had arguably received insufficient critical attention in anthropology until relatively recently despite its central role in research practices. However, recent work has highlighted the significance of archives for the future of anthropology (Kohl 2013), and ideas about the 'archive' as a static repository of history are being challenged. Interdisciplinary experimentations with forms of archive/archiving are increasingly emerging (cf. the anarchive) raising important questions about both the collaborative and processural nature of archives (Manning 2016).

This panel begins with the premise that archives, prone to decay, dissolution and re-arrangement, are permanently in process (cf. This perspective enables us to engage with cleavages and links between past knowledge and future imagination, as well as the role of representation. The organizers interest is not limited to objects, but also to the idea of the body (or collective bodies) as archives of experience. In particular, they are interested in the archive's potential for collaborative artistic and ethnographic practices: What forms of collaborative work does the archive offer? In what ways can the collective sensibility of the archive be explored? What can we gain from a process-based notion of the archive? What implications does this have on the role of the archive in art and anthropology, and for the practices related to it in particular?

Through this panel the convenors call for papers and art/media interventions that explore a variety of contemporary understandings of 'archive' that open up for individuals, groups and institutions possibilities to produce creative anthropological and artistic work.

The Call for Papers is now open. It closes on 8 January 2018.

The Art, Materiality and Representation  conference will be held 1 to 3 June 2018 at the British Museum, Clore Centre and SOAS, Senate House.

All proposals must be made via the online form that can be found on each panel page.

Proposals should consist of a paper title, a (very) short abstract of <300 characters and an abstract of 250 words. A paper can only be submitted once and a maximum of two papers can be submitted per person.

Proposals will be marked as pending until the end of the Call for papers. Convenors will then be asked to make their decisions over the papers proposed to their workshop by 20 January 2018 and to communicate those to the proposers.

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More information on submissions:

Call for Papers:


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