chapter  24
6 Pages

Archival Methods

WithLuis Lobo-Guerrero, Yara van ’t Groenewout

This chapter offers a reflection of archives as epistemological formations. Ann Laura Stoler makes a claim for researchers to move ‘along the archival grain’, a way of understanding the production of the archive in an ethnographic way. This constitutes for her the archival turn as the move from archive-as-source to the archive-as-subject. Archival research is a fundamental methodology in social sciences and the humanities in general, but as well in the emerging field of international political sociology. Treating archives as subjects, as processes rather than as fixed and stable things, Stoler proposes to read an archive “for its regularities, for its logic of recall, for its densities and distributions, for its consistencies of misinformation, omission, and mistake”. An illustration of such political role of archives is provided by Frederik Rosen who has focused on their role in constituting collective memory.