During the 1980s, a historical turn within the discipline of anthropology fueled an ‘archival imaginary’, which encouraged scholars to enter archival spaces, study their documents, and collect the historical ‘context’ that had been missing from previous ethnographic texts. The archive, in other words, became a repository, a site for the extraction of information about a particular topic. In the historiography of Palestine, these activities have proved fruitful; new historians have mined military and state archives in ways that have illuminated the nefarious details regarding the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Fewer scholars, however, have positioned ‘the archive’ as a subject (not a source), as a site of knowledge production (not retrieval), as an object of ethnography (not for ethnography). This paper will provide a preliminary investigation of the material-semiotics of archives in Palestine, exploring the peculiar ways in which the form and content of archival documents, architectures, and circulatory networks actually help to engender—not just reflect—some (new) realities of governance.
Davis, Caitlin M.
"Archiving Governance in Palestine,"
Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies: Vol. 3
, Article 2.
Available at: http://elischolar.library.yale.edu/jcas/vol3/iss1/2