Ideas and Proposals

We will post various position papers and related material under this menu. In addition, we welcome contributions from readers and members (moderated), which may be added below.

Thanks for your interest!

2 thoughts on “Ideas and Proposals

  1. Randy Head

    On “alities”

    I just came across another case of burgeoning “-alities” — a lecture coming up at the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies on ““Mirrors, Specularity, and Speculation in the Renaissance”
    by Yves Hersant. If Specularity, why not Archivality…



  2. Randy Head

    Bigger Plans

    We recently had a campus visit from a senior staff member of the NEH, who provided useful stimulus on the funding opportunities available from his agency. In particular, the Collaborative Research grants appear to be suitable and interesting for a larger event, probably for summer 2015. The next application deadline, for the record, is in early December 2014.

    Collaborative grants range from $25,000 to $100,000; international teams are welcome, and indeed encouraged, if they bring in the “the best scholars” for a given topic. The grants can be used to support major international conferences. While a conference might be valuable and enjoyable, I’d like to think about what we could do with substantial funding that would advance an agenda of comparative research into record-keeping practices, theories, and consequences. In particular, I am convinced that path-breaking research in our field is most likely to come from pre-doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. If that turns out to be true, then supporting those scholars as they engage with questions of archivality, and providing avenues for them to connect their own research (on historical contexts around the world) to some shared agenda would be a valuable contribution.

    A conference, especially if it produced a relatively high-profile volume of essays, might be an important step in this direction, but perhaps we should also consider a workshop/conference combination or a summer-seminar/conference combination. The opportunity to have a group of pre- and recently post-doc researchers to spend a week together in an intensive workshop, followed by an international conference, seems particularly promising to me in that it would help strengthen our net of connected researchers in ways that would last beyond a conference and a volume of essays.

    In any event, a key element in a “Collaborative” grant is collaborators. Our NEH contact made it clear that collaboration could take multiple forms; at the same time, each form of collaboration required firm commitments of appropriate time and work effort (quantified, of course). For example, an Advisory Board could involved senior scholars who would commit a limited work effort; workshop leaders, conference organizers, and volume editors would dedicate more.

    Your thoughts are solicited! In addition, if anyone has experience with NEH collaborative grants in particular, I’d love to draw from your experience.


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