[URBANTH-L]CFP: The Curious Lives of Documents (graduate)

Angela Jancius jancius at ohio.edu
Tue Sep 12 11:33:20 EDT 2006

From: Chris Kortright <cmkortright at ucdavis.edu>

Call For Papers:
The Curious Lives of Documents
One-Day Graduate Student Symposium
University of California Davis
Friday, March 2, 2007

Documents are pervasive artifacts: sought after, collected, venerated,
hidden, depended on and fabricated by intellectuals of all paths of
life. They are more than the inscribed papers that circulate in
economies of information and decay in archives.  Passports, financial
bulletins, official government papers, maps, scientific reports and
judicial verdicts-they are networks in and of themselves, performances
surrounded by stories, fed by the social, and empowered to reveal and
conceal. The Curious Lives of Documents Symposium seeks to bring
documents into focus, to interrogate their textures-their shifting
contexts, and the simultaneous practices and relationships that
surround them.
The document is a point of friction that operates between what becomes
official truth, what is left unsaid and what must remain secret.
Technological innovation and social relations affect the materiality
of documents, and release them from the surface of paper. As academics
we participate in these tensions. Are we, as scribes, too easily
seduced by the work of other scribes? From the shifting social life of
documents to our role as document makers, this symposium seeks to make
visible the curious lives of documents as ethnographic subjects.
The Symposium & Midnight University
This will be a one-day symposium, the intent of which is
to provide a space for senior graduate students to present their work
and for lively discussions on the symposium theme and panelists'
projects. Panel presentations will be limited to 15 minutes (7
double-spaced pages) and each panel will have a discussant. Following
the symposium and reception, there will be a Midnight University in
which alternative forms of expression and presentation will be
explored. The organizers of the Midnight University encourage new
forms of presentation-all forms of media are welcome and encouraged. 
To best explore the curious lives of documents, we must be willing to
investigate the document from various perspectives and with divergent
approaches. The symposium and the Midnight University hope to provide
various venues for individuals to explore their work in a variety of

Guidelines for Submissions for Symposium and Midnight University: 
All presentations should engage the conference theme and
abstracts should clearly indicate the argument of the paper (in 200
words) and include title, name of presenter, institutional
affiliation, day and evening phone numbers, mailing, email address and
indicate if submission is intended for the Symposium or the Midnight
Abstracts (200 words) Due: Thursday, November 30, 2006 6pm
Direct all correspondence (and abstracts) to: docu.conference at gmail.com

More information about the URBANTH-L mailing list