The Project

“On Archival Truths” will be the fifth event organized around the theme “Writing the Archives” and will take place at Stony Brook University on October 4th and 5th, 2019. This project is an international interdisciplinary endeavor that combines the literary and cultural studies perspective with that of history, anthropology, sociology, literature, political science, and cultural studies. Therefore, the conference organized at Stony Brook will bring together scholars from different disciplines: history, sociology, philosophy, cultural studies, literature, anthropology, law studies, political science, the arts and digital humanities.


The first event of the project, entitled “Writings of the Archives I: literature, literary studies and archives,” took place in Paris, on January 2017. As indicated in the title, it was mainly dedicated to literature, literary studies and archives and their mutual implications within an
interdisciplinary perspective. The aim of the second, “Writings of the Archives II: “Archives and artistic creation,” in Warsaw in December 2017 was to interrogate the relations between archives, art history and contemporary artistic practices. The third event, “Writing the Archives III: The Poetics of the Archives” took place at Columbia University in November 2018 and was dedicated to the archives as material and symbolic spaces and to their social impact on our imagination, research and everyday practices. Moreover, it interrogated the role of the archives from the standpoint of different disciplines within humanities, social sciences and beyond. The fourth encounter took place in Paris in January 2019, was titled “Documents, traces, archives: du public et du privé” and questioned the intimate relationship that the researcher in the Humanities and Social Sciences can have with the archive.

The objective of this fifth international conference, “On Archival Truths,” is to allow researchers to keep thinking about the social role of the archives in the contemporary culture, in both scientific and public contexts. How can we work with the archive to understand our present? We aim to create a space in which we will have both a theoretical approach to the notion of archive and a practical set of “case studies” through which we can understand the tensions that one can encounter in an archive, between private and public, individual and collective, between what one reads in an archive and what one writes about the archive. This theoretical and practical approaches will be possible thanks to our interdisciplinary approach and collaboration: from specialists in philosophy and sociology to specialists in cultural studies, history, anthropology and literature.