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The National Archives

Bessant Drive

Richmond

TW9 4DU

United Kingdom

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The Big Ideas seminar series is a successful staff seminar that explores a variety of fascinating and thought-provoking research topics. We are delighted that the series, previously held for The National Archives staff only, is now being opened up to the wider academic community. Big Ideas aims to create opportunities for regular meetings at The National Archives to discuss cutting-edge research methodologies and theories.

The second Big Ideas seminar for this academic year will take place on 22 November 2017 and consist of three short integrated presentations exploring the theme 'surfacing the page'. We will be joined by Professor Maryanne Dever, Dr Jacqueline Lorber Kasunic, and Associate Professor Kate Sweetapple from the University of Technology Sydney

To join the conversation on social media use #ResIdeas.

Programme

Welcome and introductions by Dr Anna Sexton, Head of Research at The National Archives.

13:00 - 14:00

Presentation 1: Professor Maryanne Dever, Faculty of Arts of Social Sciences

The presence of digital technologies for the reproduction and circulation of archival artefacts have placed questions of materiality at the centre of how we value analogue originals. However, new debates around the materiality of the archived page are pushing us away from focusing simply on physical properties of the page and toward a consideration of the page in terms of its potential, that is, away from a consideration of what an archived page is and toward what it can do.

Presentation 2. Dr Jacqueline Lorber Kasunic, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building

Attention to the materiality of the archived page has too often assumed a literal reading, one that fails to engage with the analysis of all material codes or how readers come to understand a text not only through the linguistic signs but also through the graphical and formal properties of the text. I am not arguing here against the primacy of linguistic materials in the production of knowledge, but rather for the acknowledgement of the role of the visual as integral to the relationship between the archived page and its interpretation.

Presentation 3. Associate Professor Kate Sweetapple, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building

If we are to understand the archived page as a coded artefact, known in part through a reading of the graphical and formal arrangement of text, what happens when these properties are rearranged? In this presentation I explore this scenario by visually manipulating existing archival documents in order to create new objects of inquiry. This method of producing artefacts to both understand and represent concepts or ideas is common in design research. These speculative artefacts are designed to be provocative and disrupt the authority of graphic conventions. They also reveal the affordances of archival material in digital environments, and highlight the role design can play in realising this potential.

Date and Time

Location

The National Archives

Bessant Drive

Richmond

TW9 4DU

United Kingdom

View Map

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