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ACA@UBC 14th Annual International Seminar and Symposium


February 10, 2023 09:00 - February 11, 2023 15:30





Theme: Archives Unbound: Redefining Archival Concepts and Practice

Seminar (Friday, February 10, 9:00⁠–4:00 PST)
Symposium (Saturday, February 11, 9:00⁠–3:30 PST)

The Association of Canadian Archivists Student Chapter at the University of British Columbia (ACA@UBC) is pleased to present its 14th annual Seminar and Symposium, Archives Unbound: Redefining Archival Concepts and Practice. This event will be held virtually on Zoom on Friday, February 10th and Saturday, February 11th, 2023.

As an online event, attendees and presenters will join this gathering from many different places around the world. We wish to expressly acknowledge that the University of British Columbia School of Information is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people. We are grateful to study and host our seminar and symposium on this beautiful land.

Archives Unbound begins with the following question: what does it mean to shift a paradigm? The dominant paradigm for archives centres impartiality, neutrality, and objectivity. Yet, as Michelle Caswell notes in Urgent Archives (2021), archival communities of the last decade have demonstrated a firm commitment to critiquing, unraveling, and reimagining this model. Joan M. Schwartz and Terry Cook (2002) write that while “old scripts are…still influential in the daily performance of archival work,” “new intellectual (theoretical) spaces are opened by…transgressive performances” (173; 177). With this in mind, how might it look to do archives differently?

At the 14th annual ACA@UBC Seminar and Symposium, Archives Unbound, we will dedicate time and space to exploring the plurality of the archival field. This two-day virtual event brings together students, scholars, and practitioners whose work challenges dominant archival paradigms, and who reimagine and redefine archival concepts and practices. In addition to panels on records and archives that fall outside Eurocentric definitions, this event will facilitate conversations around digital archives and the ethics of digitization, archiving current events, archival businesses, and archival commitments to Truth and Reconciliation. Through virtual discussions and presentations, speakers at the ACA@UBC Seminar and Symposium will unbind our conceptions of what archives are, what they can be, and how they can be developed and cared for.