Michel Foucault: Discourse Theory and the Archive
Convention Center at the Historical Observatory; Geismar Landstraße 11, 37083 Göttingen
16 July 2016
See also this link.
This year marks not only Michel Foucault’s 90th birthday, but also the 50th anniversary of the publication of his seminal book Les Mots et les Choses, which made Foucault a prominent intellectual figure throughout Europe. We would like to commemorate this double anniversary with a one-day symposium organised by the Department of British Literature and Culture at Göttingen University in cooperation with the Göttingen Center for Gender studies and the Center for Theory of Culture and Society.
While Foucault has introduced many persistent concepts to the fields of critical, cultural, and literary theory, one that has increasingly attracted attention during the past ten to fifteen years is the archive.
Foucault himself employs the term ‘archive’ ambiguously (cf. Eliassen). Depending on context, the archive signifies
a) an analytical and systematic concept in Foucault’s historical epistemology as put forward in The Archaeology of Knowledge;
b) a historically embedded institution that registers, stores, processes, and provides data about populations and nations; and, last but not least,
c) a singular space that can be experienced aesthetically and that therefore belongs to a group of socially and historically constructed spaces that Foucault referred to elsewhere as ‘heterotopias’.
As concept, ‘the archive’ thus finds itself at the centre of several current academic debates and concerns. What is more, ‘the archive’ can often be seen as a driving force behind recent transformations of the fields of literary and cultural studies, heralding important turns such as the material, the spatial, or the medial turn.
9:15-9:30 Welcome & Opening Remarks:
Ralf Haekel, Johannes Schlegel & Julia Kroll
9:30-10:30 Keynote: Prof Dr Gerold Sedlmayr (TU Dortmund)
“The Value of Value, or: The (Un-)Thinkability of a Postcapitalist Order of Things”
10:30-11:00 Coffee Break
11:00-12:30 Panel I: Transforming the Archive: Feminism and Queer Studies
– Thinking sexual archives with Michel Foucault (Cornelia Möser)
– Queering the archive – The Lesbian archives of Cheryl Dunye’s „The Watermelon Woman“ and „The Owls“ (Nadine Dannenberg)
– Affect in the archive? Literary practices in the context of the Neue Frauenbewegung (Matthias Lüthjohann)
12:30-14:00 Lunch Break
14:00-15:00 Panel II: Reading History through the Foucauldian Archive
– Contradiction and the archive (Martin Mauersberg)
– The Archive as Chronotopos. On Foucault’s understanding of the Archive as a Symbol of Modernity (Sina Steglich)
15:00-15:30 Coffee Break
15:30-17:00 Panel III: Contemporary Practices of the Archive in Context
– Archiving Folk Culture: The Emergence of Folklore Studies and the control of ethnic discourses (Johannes Müske)
– Literature in Other Spaces. Understanding Literary Museum Exhibitions Through Michel Foucault’s Concept of Heterotopia (Sebastian Böck)
– Foucault, archival science and the changing practice of the archivist (Knut Langewand)
17:00-18:00 Panel IV: Foucault and the Digital Age
– Foucault’s “film archive” and its inventory (Ulrike Allouche)
– Excavating Media (Jermain Heidelberg)
Venue: Convention Center at the Historical Observatory; Geismar Landstraße 11, 37083 Göttingen
Convenors: Ralf Haekel, Johannes Schlegel & Julia Kroll
Attendance is free of charge. However, we would kindly like to ask you to register via email!