20 Years of Archive Fever

International Symposium at the Freud Museum, London, UK
(20 July 2014)

Curated by Guy Atkins
Sound Recording by James Bulley


"It is what is happening, right here, when a house, the Freuds' last house, becomes a museum: the passage from one institution to another." (Jacques Derrida, 'Archive Fever')

Presented as a gift to the Freud Museum, Jacques Derrida's 1994 lecture 'Archive Fever' remains a compelling work for scholars and artists interested in the relationship between archives, memory, and technology.

Originally titled 'The Concept of the Archive: A Freudian Impression', Derrida's deconstruction of the act of archiving beautifully opens up the contradictory nature of archives: how they are simultaneously public and private spaces, institutive and conservative, traditional and revolutionary. To mark the 20th anniversary of the lecture, the 'archive' at the centre of Derrida's thinking - the Freud Museum - is inviting a number of academics who attended the lecture to recall their memories of it, offer their interpretations of the work, and explore its continued relevance today.

The panel will include Riccardo Steiner (Psychoanalyst and speaker at the original conference), Prof. Sarah Wilson (Courtauld Institute, where the conference was held), Prof. Dany Nobus (Brunel University), Dr. Forbes Morlock (Syracuse University), Julia Borossa (Middlesex University) and Michael Molnar (Former Director of the Freud Museum and principal conference organiser).

"Derrida sees in Freud's writing the very desire that is Archive Fever: the desire to recover moments of inception: to find and possess all sorts of beginnings." (Carolyn Steedman, 'Dust')

In addition to the panel discussion, experts from different academic disciplines will explain the importance of 'Archive Fever' to their work.

Contributions will include talks by Prof. Carolyn Steedman (Emeritus Professor of History at Warwick University, and author of Dust: The Archive and Cultural History), Dr. Beverley Butler (Senior Lecturer at UCL's Institute of Archaeology), and (TBC) Professor Jerome Lebre (Paris)

With thanks to;
The Freud Museum,
Anthony Stadlen.