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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - bologna.lab - Neue Lehre. Neues Lernen

Finding Berlin: On Archives and Archiving

Taught by Ana María Gómez López

Monday, 12:00 - 14:00, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7, Room 0323-26



Course Description

This research seminar will provide students with approaches to “the archive,” understood as repositories of records from the past that can serve as source material for critical analysis and aesthetic invention. Field visits to archives in Berlin will provide “hands-on” experiences for exploring archives, offering possibilities for developing a focused written and/or artistic research project.
Readings in history, literature, social sciences, and the visual arts will provide a critical framework for analyzing archives as sites of artistic creation, academic discovery, and theoretical construction. Students from all fields and different levels of proficiency in German are welcome.


In addition to a diverse selection of case studies and interdisciplinary readings, the main theoretical texts to which we will be returning to throughout this course are:

  • Agamben, Giorgio. 1999. “Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive. New York: Zone Books.
  • Benjamin, Walter. [1927-1940] 2002. The Arcades Project, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  • Derrida, Jacques. 1998. Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Farge, Arlette. [1989] 2013. The Allure of the Archive. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Foucault, Michel. [1969] 1972. The Archaeology of Knowledge. New York: Pantheon Books.
  • Foucault, Michel. [1966] 1997. The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. London: Routledge.
  • Steedman, Carolyn. 2002. Dust: The Archive and Cultural History. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.
  • Trouillot, Michel Rolph. 1995. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Boston: Beacon Press.