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Marjolein Schepers

Critical Research Practices: Social History, Archives and Historical Criticism

In this workshop participants will exchange thoughts on archival sources as research materials and historical criticism as tool. Recent generations of historians have been trying to give a voice to actors in the past, to ‘read along the archival grain’, recognising that archival production is an act of governance and dependent on power relations. Approaching them means assessing their reliability, representativeness, criticism on the origin of the sources and the viewpoints of the creators of sources. The workshop will consist of collaborative reading, exploring of methods and sources (like historical maps, urban regulations and different kinds of registers) and writing exercises regarding the interpretation of sources. It is mostly intended for artists who (want to) work with research-based practices related to social history and/or historical criticism.

More information will be provided in due course. We ask participants to bring examples from their own research (more information will be provided), but examples from the organiser’s research in migration history and from publicly available datasets like the Old Bailey Online, Layers of London, and Prize Papers will also be provided for those who prefer to work on other sources.

Register for the workshop by clicking 'order' below (or by sending an e-mail to and include the preferred price (no questions asked) in your message. Further reading: Saidiya Hartman, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments. Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women, and Queer Radicals (WW Norton & Company 2019) Jo Guldi and David Armitage, ‘Conclusion: The Future of the Past’, The History Manifesto (Cambridge University Press 2015) p. 117-125; Ann Laura Stoler, Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense (Princeton University Press 2010). (Image: Erfgoed Leiden, Stadsarchief III, inv. nr. 191: Excerpt of account books documenting relief provided to travellers in January and February 1824 by the passantmeester of the city of Leiden.)

5€ reduced price, 10€ regular price, 15€ solidarity price €

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