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dc.contributor.authorChakraborty, Somdatta-
dc.description.abstractUnpacking an archive is difficult primarily due to its dual presence and functionality. While on one hand, it symbolizes the space/ building where records of the past are preserved; on the other hand, an archive itself merges with the records it seeks to preserve thus embodying the past in fragments. Making history or the craft of seeking meaning in the pasts involves an intimate and constant engagement with an archive in both its embodiments. While search for the various versions of ‘truth’ lies at the core of this connect, it also necessitates being receptive to the silences, omissions and discontinuities that lie embedded in such seemingly uniform and unproblematic representations of the pasts. The identification of an archive with a repository or documents of the past however does not exclude its metaphoric and polemical dimensions and this article elaborates upon such non-material existences by questioning the materiality and fixity of archives. It attempts to interpret the engagement of the researcher with the archive through the theoretical lens of ‘intra-action’, by emphasizing non-fixity of both the archive and the historian. Focus on archives also problematizes the role of ‘facts’ in history thus raising questions on the action of the historian and the practices and politics of archiving. Memory and its role in archivization and the concurrent production of knowledge about individuals, communities and nations and in the production of archives per se, feature as a central concern of this essay, as the past or its reconstruction is as much about remembering as about forgetting.1The interplay between memory, archivization and discovery/formation of individual/communitarian/ national identities thus forms a central piece of this essay the scope of which needs to be situated within my own experiences of working in archives and hence the frames of analyses are chosen to be in sync with my experiential frameworks.en_US
dc.publisherUniversity of North Bengalen_US
dc.title‘Doing History’: In and Beyond the Archiveen_US
dc.title.alternativeSocial Trends, A Peer-reviewed National Journal, Vol. 8, 31-March-2021, pp 128 - 146en_US
Appears in Collections:Vol. 08 (March 2021)

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