Information for Researchers No. 68 | 28 September 2018
Cultures of Archival Research in Germany and India
Announcement of an Indo-German Workshop and Call for Applications
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) are pleased to continue their collaboration with an Indo-German workshop and a call for papers.
Archives are and have always been eminently important for historical research. They are recognised places for the production of knowledge, but they are also frequently questioned regarding their influence on the historians’ work. In what ways are archives instrumental in shaping the narrative, and can they act as transmitters of „historical truth“? It is to be expected that a critical analysis of archives will result in a better understanding of their structures, their collections, and also of their politics of selecting material and structuring information. In order to counter-balance possible desiderata or biases in material released from an archive, it is attractive to read it against the grain. Marginalised social groups would be looked at more closely, and efforts would be made to analyse and deconstruct the archive’s power in the shaping of knowledge. In sum, archives should not be seen in isolation, but in their political, social, and economic contexts. An „archival turn“ has also been diagnosed by colonial and imperial historians taking a critical attitude towards colonial archives as possible representatives of former imperial rule, as well as stressing the great relevance of local and regional archives.
In order to promote critical reflection on archives and their uses by historians, a transnational workshop is being planned which will take place in Germany: first in Marburg between 15 and 18 May 2019, and later in Berlin between 18 and 21 May 2019. The workshop will focus on theoretical and methodological concepts of archival work as well as its techniques in German and Indian archives. Participants are invited to reflect on current tendencies in archival research, to work practically with examples from the archives and to discuss problems with which modern, archivally based historiography is confronted. The digitalisation of the political and social world, the role of social media, and problems of currently endangered archives will be discussed in lectures given by professional archivists and historians.
The workshop is particularly addressed to about 20 doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers from Germany and India who have already gained some experience in archival research. German participants should be working on aspects of the history of India while Indian participants should be interested in theoretical and methodological questions of archives. Participants will be given an opportunity to present their own research. Travel (economy flights), accommodation, and catering will be covered.
Applications in English should include a letter of motivation, a CV, and a short outline (1–2 pages) of the applicant’s own current research. Candidates should also submit a letter of reference.
All application material should be sent electronically as one PDF file no later than 15 November 2018 both to Prof. Dr. Benedikt Stuchtey (Link auf E-Mailbenedikt.email@example.com) and to Dr. Meena Gautam (Link auf E-Mailmeenagtm@yahoo.co.in). A joint German-Indian steering committee will make a decision on the placements based on the written applications.
For more information on the call, please contact the coordinators of the programme:
On the German side:
- Prof. Dr. Benedikt Stuchtey,
Tel. +49 6421 2824600,
Link auf E-Mailbenedikt.firstname.lastname@example.org
On the Indian side:
- Dr. Meena Gautam,
Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR),
Link auf E-Mailmeenagtm@yahoo.co.in
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