ARCHIVE FEVER SERIES 1
A new episode every Monday.
Co-hosts Clare and Yves expose their archive addict underbellies, pay tribute to Jacques Derrida, the patron saint of Archive Fever, and share stories of catching the research bug. The first session of Archives Anonymous meets here, welcome to the group.
Clare and Yves are joined by author Chloe Hooper, whose latest book The Arsonist (2018) weaves together the story of the Black Saturday Fires out of the threads of a living archive. Can the landscape and its scars reveal a true history? The group discusses paper trails in the legal system, the question of trust, and engaging in the physical archive of landscape.
Clare and Yves are joined by Tony Birch, Melbourne-based historian, novelist, poet and public intellectual trained in indigenous history. Is archival research always a fact-finding mission—or can it be a form of call and response? Reflecting on his journey from academic historian to award-winning fiction writer, Tony explains how he answers back to the colonial archive and uses language to take back country. The group also discusses the History Wars of the early 2000s, hear Tony recite his poem “Archive Box,” and learn about the contraband he’s got stashed at home.
Clare and Yves are joined by Gwenda Tavan, Associate Professor of Politics at La Trobe University, and one of Australia’s foremost experts in the history and politics of immigration and multiculturalism. How do we find the human face of bureaucratic archives? Can researchers’ detective work impact lives and policies in the present? The group discuss the emotional and intellectual meanings of archives, consider the challenges of family gatekeepers, and reflect on the power and responsibility of archival access.
How do historical novelists mix research and imagination to bring stories to life? Do they get anxious about wading into academic turf? To investigate these questions, Clare and Yves chat to Jock Serong, award-winning novelist and author of Preservation—a captivating thriller based on the true story of a shipwreck in colonial Australia. Jock reflects on the archive of human character he encountered in his former life as a lawyer, shares tales of battling his editor over animal-skin water carriers, and confesses a secret love of Google Earth.
Clare and Yves are joined by Billy Griffiths, historian and author of the award-winning Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia. Can an archive exist in the ground beneath our feet? The group talks archaeology—a discipline which startles the border between the sciences and the humanities—as archival research, the archive as contested space, and the gendered ramifications of the Indiana Jones Effect.
Clare and Yves are joined by Rachel Buchanan, journalist, historian, writer and chief archivist of the Germaine Greer Archive at the University of Melbourne. How does an archivist build an archive? Who has the right to feast on these stories? And what on earth do cryogenics, radioactive waste and bread have to do with archival work? In this episode, we take a deep dive into the ethics of making and using archives. Buchanan argues for a feminist ethics of care, explains how whakapapa shapes and strengthens her work, and recalls the day her blood ran cold in the Greer Archive.