Announcing the 2023 African Critical Inquiry Program Workshop -- Archiving Otherwise: Sound Thinking and Sonic Practice

Corinne Kratz's picture

2023 African Critical Inquiry Workshop:

Archiving Otherwise: Sound Thinking and Sonic Practice

            The African Critical Inquiry Programme (ACIP) is pleased to announce that the 2023 ACIP Workshop will be Archiving Otherwise: Sound Thinking and Sonic Practice. The project was proposed by organizers Aidan Erasmus (History), Valmont Layne (Centre for Humanities Research), Ben Verghese (History/CHR) and Michael Bhatch (Lecturer/Artist), all based at the University of the Western Cape, on behalf of the University of the Western Cape/Centre for Humanities Research Sound Working Group. It will take place across sites in Cape Town, South Africa in March 2023.

Archiving Otherwise

            What does it mean to take seriously the practice of collecting, curating, and performing sound and music as a public archival practice? What does it mean to reflect on the forms and modes of sonic intellectual work outside the university as critical conversations on archival engagement within the university? What might it mean to think of sampling, sound practice and DJ scholarship as modes of public scholarship? Archiving Otherwise: Sound Thinking and Sonic Practice is a three-day workshop hosted in March 2023 that draws on the concepts of DJ scholarship (as articulated by Lynnée Denise) and public sonic practice as an invitation to think anew about the act of public archival practice and study in South Africa. Focusing on sound as a generative form that cuts across and disrupts existing archival debates that tend to focus on the documentary and the enclosed collection, the workshop foregrounds the use and abuse of sound as performed public archival artefact and discourse to better grasp how we might think about public archives and public history. Through the emphasis in the workshop on the practices of public archival scholarship and study as encapsulated in the listener, the collector, the curator, and the crate-digger, the workshop intends to interrogate the sites of intellectual practice and production in relation to sound and music, and asks what kinds of feedback this might engender for the academy and its intellectual modes of address. The workshop will thus address the relationship between the institution, its objects, and its publics. It will feature sampling workshops, live listening sessions, activist and practitioner-led discussions while interacting with the work and research of academic scholars, as well as conversations around embedded practice.

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            Founded in 2012, the African Critical Inquiry Programme (ACIP) is a partnership between the Centre for Humanities Research at University of the Western Cape in Cape Town and the Laney Graduate School of Emory University in Atlanta. Supported by donations to the Ivan Karp and Corinne Kratz Fund, the ACIP fosters thinking and working across public cultural institutions, across disciplines and fields, and across generations. It seeks to advance inquiry and debate about the roles and practice of public culture, public cultural institutions and public scholarship in shaping identities and society in Africa through an annual ACIP workshop and through the Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Awards, which support African doctoral students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences enrolled at South African universities.

            Information about applying to organize the 2024 ACIP workshop and for the 2023 Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Awards will be available in November 2022. The deadline for both workshop applications and student applications is 1 May 2023.

            For further information, see and