In this research-intensive graduate seminar, students will engage with a range of methods, questions, and approaches to conducting archival research in filmic, paper and print, and internet databases, and in both American and foreign contexts. While some class content will unfold around archival materials related to French film and art practice between 1930-1950, and to the discursive transformations around concepts of materiality and visual aesthetics therein, we will also explore a range of texts on archival methodology; selected texts on archival theory; and case-studies foregrounding modes of archival discovery, evaluation, and interpretation. With the aim of training students for “deep dive” explorations of material and visual culture, students will be expected to conduct original research on a topic of their own design beginning in week 2. To be considered for this seminar, interested students should thus submit a short (1-2 paragraph) research proposal prior to registration. Proposals do not have to focus on French or Francophone topics, nor do they have to be fully developed. They must, however, propose a set of coherent and exploratory, if tentative, questions or propositions that the student will explore through intensive archival research. Proposals should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 2 weeks prior to spring quarter 2016.
NB: All students (doctoral, MAPH, or MAPS) who are interested in this seminar, but who do not have a specific research question, agenda, or object, are nevertheless encouraged to enroll. Such students will be provided with directed questions, topics, or objects for archival research, or research related to the theoretical dimensions of the archive. These students may work collaboratively or in small groups with the aim of building a foundation in primary research methods and objectives, which will lead to a final dossier on their research findings, methodological challenges, roadblocks, and breakthroughs.