Archival Frictions is organized around two central questions: how do archives imagine the past and present and what do we do with the “history” they contain? Traditionally, we consider archives places where the past is collected and comprised, and where official history are stored and maintained by governmental bodies and institutions. In this project, rather than maintain this institutional definition, I instead take a cue from Jacques Derrida’s Archive Fever, where he proposes that “nothing is less reliable, nothing is less clear today than the word ‘archive’” In this project, I expand the term “archive” to include individual literary texts and films as well as collections of work by particular authors and artists. However, I also look at various official collections and “archives” to problematize the identity construct and qualifier, “Arab,” and to read across two distinct moments—the early 1900s and post-1967—of Arab discursive and historical representation and identity after a prolonged encounter with the west and western media in the twentieth century.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2019. Major: Comparative Literature. Advisors: Shaden Tageldin, John Mowitt. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 464 pages.
Archival Frictions: The Arab and Arab American as Image in Literature, Film, and Other Archives.
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