Sunday, September 15, 2013

Reading Questions for Paul Ricoeur's "Archives, Documents, Traces" and Ilya Kabakov's "The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away"

Be prepared to discuss both articles and to hand in answers to the following questions in class on September 24th. You should meet with your designated group members before class to go over the questions.

1. Briefly sum up the way that author Paul Ricoeur defines and describes the terms "archive" and "document" in "Archives, Documents, Traces". 

2. Aside from the "institutional character of archives", what differentiates an archive from a random grouping of stuff? 

3. What is the critique of archives, documents, and monuments that is brought up multiple times throughout the article? 

4. Look up the terms etymology, epistemology, phenomenology, historiography, and positivism if you are unfamiliar with them. What does the inclusion of these terms tell you about the author and his intended reader? 

5. In "The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away", what reason or reasons are suggested for people's decisions to keep or collect things? Do you agree with the reasons given in the article or are there other reasons that you can think of? 

6. Briefly compare and contrast the ideas of the archive, the document and the trace in the two articles. 

You can email me at if you're having any problems or have concerns. Your reading groups should be accessible through digication, but I'll repost them here for conveniency's sake:

Reading Group 1 

Reading Group 2 

Reading Group 3