Candidate in Film Studies
Paula Amad, University of Chicago
"'No More Written Archives. Only Films':
Tracing the Emergence of a Counter-Archive of the Everyday in Albert Kahn's Archives de la Planète, 1908-1931"


Amad's claim is that Kahn's film archive disrupts the conventional notion of the archive as an official storehouse for the history of the past because it privileges contemporary everyday life as the source for a newer, more modern history. This counter-archival impulse can be traced beyond the Kahn Archive across a range of inventory-based projects, from Marcel Duchamp's 'ready-mades' and the Surrealist's excavations of the Parisian flea-markets, to the Annales school of history.

The paper is cross-disciplinary in focus, dealing with the aesthetic and historical dimensions of the concept of the 'archive' and the 'everyday', as well as the history of early film, and will appeal to a diverse range of faculty and students from Art History, English, French, History and Anthropology.