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Presented By: Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies

EIHS Workshop: Atmospheres of Violence: Loss, Silence, and Affect in Archival Research

Dora Gao, Allie Goodman, Kristen Leer, Alexander McConnell (moderator)

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Researching historical violence poses methodological, ethical, political, and affective challenges, particularly when this violence continues into the present, disrupts linear notions of time, and undermines triumphant progress narratives. When working in an archive defined by violence and terror, scholars are surrounded by emotions, both their own and their subjects’. In this workshop, an interdisciplinary group of graduate students will consider how scholars can write about marginalized subjects and communities whose voices have been systematically silenced and distorted by traditional historical archives. Foregrounding the affective politics of archival erasure, our panelists will offer different models for navigating archives characterized by profound violence. Our panel will include case studies from the temple of Sarapis in Ptolemaic Egypt during the second century BCE, the St. Charles School for Boys in Progressive-era Illinois, and contemporary social media archives documenting trauma and activism.


• Dora Gao (PhD Student, Ancient History, University of Michigan)
• Allie Goodman (PhD Candidate, History, University of Michigan)
• Kristen Leer (PhD Candidate, Communication and Media, University of Michigan)
• Alexander McConnell, moderator (Postdoctoral Fellow, Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, University of Michigan)

This event presented by the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. It is made possible in part by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.
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