Interdisciplinarity and Archives

During class, after putting ourselves in order based on our last names and then first names, we were instructed to walk around outside and try to find different archives. My group immediately went to the ISC where we found many science archives-old bones, rocks and even a timeline. While doing this activity, it reminded me of the reading in Interdisciplinary titled “Literature and History”. This section starts on page 114 and talks about how things are organized. Moran states that no matter the subject, they all have one thing in common, “courses tend to focus on the most up-to-date scholarship, with the assumption that the history of the discipline is merely a long prelude to a contemporary state of enlightenment. Even today, though, when issue- or theme-based modules are increasingly prevalent on English degrees, most courses organize themselves in terms of periods and make some attempt at chronological coverage” (Moran, 115). An archive is an example of one of these forms that is organized by time periods. These forms (paper, paintings, sculptures, tombstones) of art come together to form one discipline. We, as students of a college that was built a long time ago, are lucky enough to have archives all around us. Everything is an archive, including buildings, cemeteries, art and even us. Something important to note when looking at an archive is that if you are not careful with them, they can be easily destroyed. Some special archives are kept in cases or boxes so that people do not touch and wreck them. However, other archives are out in the open for anyone to touch and unfortunately wreck. In the books that we have read, archives have played an important role and often times, the reader does not notice or pay attention to the fact that things such as a cemetery, books or letters are in fact archives.

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