Family and Institutional Archives in South Asia: Document Reading Workshop

Nandini Chatterjee's picture
October 17, 2019
Wisconsin, United States
Subject Fields: 
Islamic History / Studies, South Asian History / Studies

Date and Time: 17 October 2019, 9:30 am to 5:30 pm

Venue: Klueter Meeting Room, Hotel Indigo, Madison, Wisconsin

Purpose: The aim of this workshop is to introduce several different family and institutional archives, both in terms of their various contents and as whole institutions, discuss methodological approaches to archives, and consider the history of archival practices in light of these particular collections. Rather than formal research presentations, we will emphasize a nut-and-bolts format of reading together that will introduce the group to the styles and contents of documents in each archive. In addition to giving a brief overview of the archive in question, such as through a descriptive list or spreadsheet, each participant will walk the group through a selected document. During their sessions, participants are also invited to comment on their methodology in approaching the archive, including how they have made sense of its order and structure and how they have sampled or collected data. Each participant will have about 45 minutes to introduce the archive they are discussing and lead the group in reading one document from that archive. We will contextualize our presentations in a closing discussion, considering the archives and documents presented over the course of the day comparatively and how they contribute to an understanding of historical archival practices.

Participants: Fahad Bishara, Nandini Chatterjee, Naveena Naqvi, Samira Sheikh, Elizabeth Thelen, Dominic Vendell

We have space for up to 3 additional participants. Most of the materials to be co-read are in Persian and Arabic, but translations will be provided, and there will be plenty of methodological discussions. If interested, please write to Nandini Chatterjee  

Tentative Schedule:

9:30-10:00: Opening remarks

10:00-10:45: Participant 1

10:45-11:00: break 1

11:00-11:45 Participant 2

11:45-12:30 Participant 3

12:30-1:30: lunch

1:30-2:15: Participant 4

2:15-3:00 Participant 5

3:00-3:30 break 2

3:30-4:15 Participant 6

4:15-5:00 Wrap-up discussion

Contact Info: 

Prof. Nandini Chatterjee

Associate Professor in History

University of Exeter