Disrupting Dominance in the Archive

Date / time: 5 December - 6 December, 12:00 am

Disrupting Dominance in the Archive


Call for Papers deadline – 18 May 2022

Conference – Disrupting Dominance in the Archive | 5-6 December 2022 | University of the Arts, London/Online

The Stanley Kubrick Archive (SKA) was donated to University of the Arts London in 2007. The opening of the archive to the public reframed research into both Stanley Kubrick and the films he directed, allowing methodologies other than oral history and textual analysis to be applied to the study of Kubrick’s films and work. However, research conducted using the archive still overwhelmingly centres Kubrick and his creative input, reinforcing his status and dominance. The Stanley Kubrick Archive is filled with material, documents, and ephemera that can evoke the stories and voices of a myriad of other workers that can disrupt the narrative and myths surrounding Kubrick and his films. The SKA contains the identities and experiences of these other workers, yet their stories are not part of current histories. In the post-MeToo and post-BLM era, there is now an urgent need to re-evaluate film and media history and the way the archives of ‘canonical’ filmmakers are used to produce knowledge. How can a diversity of voices and identities be excavated from archives like the Stanley Kubrick Archive and highlighted?

This conference aims to disrupt traditional research into “identity archives” (Blouin and Rosenberg, 2011), like the Stanley Kubrick Archive. Identity archives are organised around particular histories and are designed to remember only certain elements of the past, therefore these ‘monuments’ present a problem for researchers and for our collective social memory. With this conference, we aim to (re)examine archives like the Stanley Kubrick Archive, to raise questions as to the contested nature of archives, to capture innovative archival practice, re-examine accepted archival methods and approaches, and problematise existing histories and narratives.

Areas of Interest for Papers

Papers will be welcomed which explore new approaches to archives, particularly “identity archives”, such as the Stanley Kubrick Archive, the Anthony Burgess archive, the Alfred Hitchcock papers, the Sigmund Freud archive and others. We hope to bridge the archival divide and encourage dialogue between archivists and researchers.

We welcome papers from both researchers and archivists in any of the following broad areas:

  • Disruptive approaches to archives
  • Challenging auteur studies through archival research
  • Reappraising the canon through archival research
  • The contested nature of archives
  • Archives and problematising biographical research
  • Reading the archive ‘against the grain’: hidden stories, histories, controversies
  • Interrogating traditional assumptions around the uses and applications of archives
  • New archival practices
  • Materiality of the archive
  • Archival descriptions and catalogues
  • Archives and myth-building
  • Archival silences and absences
  • Exploring bias in archival research and practice
  • Unexplored archives
  • Showcasing creative responses and practice-based research
  • Exploring race, gender, sexuality, class in the archive
  • Intersectional approaches to Kubrick’s films
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to the SK archive (for example fashion, communications, architecture, art history and practice)
  • Digitisation of archive collections
  • Looking beyond the archive

How to Apply

Please send 300-word abstracts, along with a brief biographical note, to Georgina Orgill (g.orgill@arts.ac.uk) and James Fenwick (J.Fenwick@shu.ac.uk) by 18 May 2022. Early submissions are encouraged.

The selection panel will inform you if your paper has been successful by the end of June.

It is anticipated that this conference will be held on-site at LCC, or online. Please indicate your preference when you apply.

Bursary Scheme

The Conference is pleased to offer a limited number of bursaries to encourage new and emerging researchers who wish to take part. These bursaries will help to subsidise the cost of travel, subsistence and accommodation necessary to assist research in the Stanley Kubrick Archive at UAL and deliver a paper at the conference.

If you wish to apply for a bursary please email Georgina Orgill (g.orgill@arts.ac.uk) and Sarah Mahurter (s.mahurter@arts.ac.uk) with the following information:

  • Your name and contact details.
  • Up to 250 words, summarising how researching in the Stanley Kubrick Archive will help you to prepare your conference paper and support your studies.
  • An outline of the expenses you are likely to incur to carry out your research.

The deadline for applications is 18th May. Successful applicants will be informed by the end of June, when the papers are announced.

This conference is a joint collaboration across University of the Arts London, Kingston University and Sheffield Hallam University.

Blouin Jr., F., & Rosenberg, W. (2011). ‘Contested Archives, Contested Sources’. In Processing the Past: Contesting Authority in History and the Archives. Oxford University Press.