This roundtable approaches the question and the problem of "the archive" from multiple disciplinary perspectives, including theatre, performance studies, journalism and history. A series of short presentations by organizing Green College Leading Scholars will be followed by a roundtable discussion with opportunities for audience engagement.
Olivia Michiko Gagnon is an Assistant Professor in Theatre and Film, UBC. She works at the intersections of performance studies, critical race theory, feminist and queer theory, and critical Indigenous studies––with additional specific interests in archives, experimental form and performative writing. She is currently working on a book manuscript about closeness as a minoritarian method of doing history otherwise, through art and performance and beyond archival stricture. Her next project takes on a more experimental (at-times dialogic) form, and explores the weave of (classroom) pedagogy, performance (studies) and critical questions of race, gender and sexuality.
Leora Morris is an Assistant Professor in Theatre and Film, UBC. She is a theatre practitioner, her research focuses on the role of the director in creating new works of performance, and is rooted in her view of theatre as a social practice in which the director serves as a kind of “societal acupuncturist.” In addition to developing and directing new texts with playwrights, she directs adaptations, musicals, devised works and theatre for young audiences at theatres across Canada and the US. Most recently, she has begun to create sensory works for children under five and their caregivers, an emerging practice known as Performance for Early Years (PEY).
Ori Tenenboim is an an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism, Writing and Media, UBC. His main areas of interest include digital journalism, political communication and media economics. He investigates how journalists and news organizations blend older and newer norms, behaviours and forms on different platforms, and what elicits user engagement with the news. He also seeks to better understand how news organizations can connect with communities to promote shared benefits, such as knowledge gains and increased trust.
What and where is “the archive”? What does an archive do? And how can an archive be animated and activated in ways that both address its complex power structures and oft-times embeddedness in colonial, imperial or otherwise hegemonic epistemologies and modes of capture, and search for creative responses to and refusals of its defining absences and thefts? How do scholars, artists, archivists, librarians and activists differently engage with various archives in order to think through questions of history and (individual and collective) memory, embodiment and materiality, loss and recovery, absence and presence, violence and healing, theft and repatriation, silence and testimony? And how might these archival engagements serve as powerful starting points for creative acts, community action, and political intervention––including ones that turn toward other ways of knowing, remembering, and telling? This series begins with a roundtable conversation that approaches the question and the problem of the archive from multiple disciplinary perspectives. The following two sessions take the the form of critical duets, in which artists, activists, librarians and archivists enter into dialogue about the ways in which their research, art-making, and/or practice engages with, responds to, resists, revisions, disrupts, or abandons the archive.
Series Conveners: Olivia Michiko Gagnon, Theatre and Film; Kelly McCormick, History; Leora Morris, Theatre and Film; and Ori Tenenboim, Journalism, Writing and Media