This Big Ideas seminar consists of three short presentations exploring the theme ‘surfacing the page’.
In the first talk, Professor Maryanne Dever looks at how the presence of digital technologies for the reproduction and circulation of archival artefacts have placed questions of materiality at the centre of how we value analogue originals. New debates around the materiality of the archived page are pushing us away from focusing simply on physical properties of the page and toward a consideration of the page in terms of its potential.
In the second talk, Dr Jacqueline Lorber Kasunic looks at how attention to the materiality of the archived page has often assumed a literal reading, one that fails to engage with how readers come to understand a text not only through the linguistic signs but also through the graphical and formal properties of the text. She argues for the acknowledgement of the role of the visual as integral to the relationship between the archived page and its interpretation.
In the third talk, Associate Professor Kate Sweetapple discusses her explorations in visually manipulating existing archival documents in order to create new objects of inquiry. These speculative artefacts are designed to be provocative and disrupt the authority of graphic conventions. They also reveal the affordances of archival material in digital environments, and highlight the role design can play in realising this potential.
Our Big Ideas seminar series is funded by Friends of The National Archives.