As sites of documentary preservation rooted in various national and social contexts, artifacts of culture, and places of uncovering, archives provide tangible evidence of memory for individuals, communities, and states, as well as defining memory institutionally within prevailing political systems and cultural norms. By assigning the prerogatives of record keeper to the archivist, whose acquisition policies, finding aids, and various institutionalized predilections mediate between scholarship and information, archives produce knowledge, legitimize political systems, and construct identities. Far from being mere repositories of data, archives actually embody the fragments of culture that endure as signifiers of who we are, and why. The essays in Archives, Documentation, and Institutions of Social Memory conceive of archives not simply as historical repositories but as a complex of structures, processes, and epistemologies situated at a critical point of the intersection between scholarship, cultural practices, politics, and technologies.
Historians of British colonial rule in India have noted both the place of military might and the imposition of new cultural categories in the making of Empire, but Bhavani Raman, in Document Raj, uncovers a lesser-known story of power: the power of bureaucracy. Drawing on extensive archival research in the files of the East India Company’s administrative offices in Madras, she tells the story of a bureaucracy gone awry in a fever of documentation practices that grew ever more abstract—and the power, both economic and cultural, this created.
In order to assert its legitimacy and value within the British Empire, the East India Company was diligent about record keeping. Raman shows, however, that the sheer volume of their document production allowed colonial managers to subtly but substantively manipulate records for their own ends, increasingly drawing the real and the recorded further apart. While this administrative sleight of hand increased the company’s reach and power within the Empire, it also bolstered profoundly new orientations to language, writing, memory, and pedagogy for the officers and Indian subordinates involved. Immersed in a subterranean world of delinquent scribes, translators, village accountants, and entrepreneurial fixers, Document Raj maps the shifting boundaries of the legible and illegible, the legal and illegitimate, that would usher India into the modern world.
This volume brings together a hitherto scattered and inaccessible body of material crucial to the understanding of the evolution of Nazi political thought. Before the publication of this volume, scholars had virtually ignored the extensive writings and programs published by leading Nazi ideologues before 1933. Barbara Miller Lane and Leila J. Rupp have collected the political writings of Nazi theorists—Dietrich Eckart, Alfred Rosenberg, Gottfried Feder, Joseph Goebbels, Gregor and Otto Strasser, Heinrich Himmler, and Richard Walther Darré—during the period before the National Socialists came to power. The Strassers are given considerable space because of their great intellectual importance within the party before 1933. In commentary by the editors, the significance of each Nazi theorist is weighed and evaluated at each stage of the history of the party.
Lane and Rupp conclude that Nazi ideology, before 1933 at least, was not a consistent whole but a doctrine in the process of rapid development to which new ideas were continually introduced. By the time the Nazis came to power, however, a group of interrelated assertions and official promises had been made to party followers and to the public. Hitler and the Third Reich had to accommodate this ideology, even when not implementing it. Hitler’s role in the development of Nazi ideology, interpreted here as a very permissive one, is thoroughly assessed. His own writings, however, have been omitted since they are readily available elsewhere.
The twenty-eight documents included in this book illustrate themes and phases in Nazi ideology which are discussed in the introduction and the detailed prefatory notes. Long selections, as often as possible full-length, are provided to allow the reader to follow the arguments. Each selection is accompanied by an introductory note and annotations which clarify its relationship to other works of the author and other writings of the period. Also included are original translations of the “Twenty-Five Points” and a number of little-known official party statements.
On European Ground
Alan Cohen University of Chicago Press, 2001 Library of Congress D424.C58 2001 | Dewey Decimal 940
A profound visual meditation on the trauma that scars twentieth-century Europe, Alan Cohen's On European Ground considers the battlefields of World War I, the Nazi death camps, and the Berlin Wall, and records the distance between what we remember about these places and what we can still observe in them today. By walking these sites and photographing the very ground in which their history has dissolved, Cohen opens a space for reflection on their complex gravity and legacy.
Cohen's images achieve a solemn beauty even as they engage history at its most topical. Pictures of trenches and bunkers at the battlefields of Somme and Verdun explore the tension between the violence of the past and the inscrutability of its remnants. Photographs from the grounds of Dachau and Auschwitz solicit a provocative dialogue between the ordinariness of these sites today and their haunting memory. They teach us, as the New Art Examiner notes, "that the living perceptual connection to the Holocaust is vanishing." Images of the Berlin Wall show only the footprint of the barricade that once separated two hostile ideologies. They record the physical erosion and looming disappearance of the Wall while capturing its reappearance as a memorialized abstraction.
Accompanying the photographs in On European Ground are essays by Sander Gilman and Jonathan Bordo, as well as an interview with Cohen by critic Roberta Smith of the New York Times. The essays present both an introduction to and aesthetic analysis of Cohen's work, while the interview discusses the intractable problems of history and memory that his photographs so uniquely capture.
This data guide exhaustively documents the results of a 2005 survey of religious and secular attitudes and behavior in the Netherlands. The data files and additional documentation can be downloaded from EASY, the online archiving system of the Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS). DANS promotes sustained access to digital research results and encourages scientific researchers to systematically archive and reuse data.
Based on first-hand accounts and extensive fieldwork, Unfree in Palestine reveals the role played by identity documents in Israel’s apartheid policies towards the Palestinians, from the red passes of the 1950s to the orange, green and blue passes of today.
The authors chronicle how millions of Palestinians have been denationalised through the bureaucratic tools of census, population registration, blacklisting and a discriminatory legal framework. They show how identity documents are used by Israel as a means of coercion, extortion, humiliation and informant recruitment. Movement restrictions tied to IDs and population registers threaten Palestinian livelihoods, freedom of movement and access to basic services such as health and education.
Unfree in Palestine is a masterful expose of the web of bureaucracy used by Israel to deprive the Palestinians of basic rights and freedoms, and calls for international justice and inclusive security in place of discrimination and division.
Technology users are compulsive integrators, hybridizers, and bricoleurs, whose unpredictable applications and innovations create a challenging task for support-documentation writers. In Wicked, Incomplete, and Uncertain, Jason Swarts shows how to document technologies that may hybridize into forms that not even their designers would have anticipated and offers insight into the evolving role of a technical writer in an age of increasing user reliance on YouTube tutorials, message boards, and other resources for guidance.
Technical writers traditionally create large volumes of idealized tasks and procedures in help documentation, but this is no longer the only approach, or even the best approach. Shifting responsibility for user support to users via crowdsourcing is a risky alternative. Just as with other mass-collaborative enterprises, contributors to a forum may not be aware of the kind of knowledge they are creating or how their contributions connect with those made by others. Wicked, Incomplete, and Uncertain describes the kinds of writing and help practices in which user forums engage, why users seem to find these forums credible and appealing, and what companies can learn about building user communities to support this form of assistance.
Through investigation of user-forum activities, Swarts identifies a new set of contributions that technical communicators can make—not only by creating content but also by curating content, shaping conversations, feeding information back into the user community, and opening channels of discovery and knowledge creation that can speak to users and software developers alike