Techne Conflux: Rethinking Archival Research, Methods and Practice

Techne Conflux: Animating the Archive: Co-Constructing Counter-Memories in Landscapes


Professor Christiane Carri (HES-SO Valais-Wallis, Switzerland and VRF, University of Brighton).

 Monday 30 January, 11.00-1.00pm (G4, City Campus, Brighton and online)


This workshop will explore potentials for co-constructing counter-memories through practices that animate archives. Professor Dr Christiane Carri (HES-SO Valais-Wallis, Switzerland) will facilitate the workshop discussion in relation to ideas developed during her current Visiting Research Fellowship at the University of Brighton. Her fellowship revolves around building a theoretical and methodological framework for ‘mobile mediated memory practices’, for example audio walks and audio hikes that engage with – and potentially produce – recordings of oral histories and soundscapes situated within or traversing across specific landscapes. With the open-endedness of their live embodiment and mobile articulations with landscape, such practices animate the archive through active and participatory modes of memory-making and engagement with history.

Animating the archive is understood here as a set of (research) practices that bring the archive to life through multiplying active and participatory modes of engagement with it, and through generating an interplay between the archive’s material, embodied, and documentary properties. Animating the archive not only has the potential to open up radical new interpretations, but also to generate new accounts that transform or even revolutionise collective memory. The context for thinking critically about the relationship between counter-memories and possibilities to transform the archive is the way that the lives, experiences and perspectives of women, LGBTQ+ communities, black and minoritised ethnic communities, migrant communities, and working-class communities are among those often absent or poorly represented in official historical archives. The importance of such representation and absence in the archive lies in the histories written on this basis – histories that contribute to the construction of social norms and relations, the construction of senses of place, and to imaginaries of belonging in particular places and landscapes. Indeed, archives contribute to the production of objects of knowledge, of publics and communities, and to both the production and denial of subjects and subjectivity – for example, the denial of subjectivity to people of colour, especially Africans and Afro-descendent peoples in colonial archives.

Given these contexts, the workshop will invite discussion on thinking critically about attempts to transform official archives and to produce radical new archives through the use of mobile mediated memory practices. The politics of working with communities to co-curate counter-memories and co-produce new archives through such memory practices will be problematized. If one of the framings of creating counter-memories and counter-histories is inclusion, recognition and representation within the archive, then how might the necessity of transformation in inclusivity be understood?


Bio: Professor Dr Christiane Carri is Professor for Social Pedagogy and Co-Director of the Centre for Affects and the Body at HES-SO Valais-Wallis (University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland). Her research interests include madness, critical disability studies, LGBTQ studies, and feminist and queer theory. Among other things, her research has addressed the history of concepts of madness and femininity in disenfranchisement court cases against women in early 20th century Germany; anti-psychiatric alternatives to reformist psychiatry; capacity building for LGBTQ families in Switzerland; and the co-production of an LGBTQ oral history audio archive in rural spaces in Valais.


Lunch and refreshments are provided.

For further information about the programme’s events, contact: and  

To book a place in person, please register here.

You can also join via Zoom, please register here. The Zoom link for online attendance will be sent ahead of the workshop on the day.


About the Conflux programme: the Centre for Memory, Narrative and Histories secured Techne funding for a Conflux programme that will address key methodologies and historiographies associated with archival research, practices and critical perspectives.

The archive’s authoritative status has come under increasing pressure across the arts and humanities in the last thirty years or so. This richly diverse programme of workshops will provide a framework to explore bigger questions about the ways in which the archive has been critiqued, problematised and de-centred in a range of academic disciplines, cultural contexts and professional settings.

Examining topics such as ‘living archives’, post-conflict community archives, AI and the archive, as well as what it means in practice to decolonise the imperial archive, the programme aims to highlight the extent to which differing approaches and methods can further enhance the generative possibilities of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspectives.