FLAME University


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Digital archiving has become the most accessible mode of learning through a variety of texts with research opportunities for students to curate, catalogue, cross-reference and so on. Pedagogical practices involving archives necessarily require critical reflexivity, inter-disciplinary perspectives, and broader contexts of assessment.   

At FLAME University a colloquium on digital scholarship and pedagogy in India was held on October 16, 2016. A commitment to research driven undergraduate education compelled this focus on digital forms of scholarship and to this end, we invited an inter-institutional dialogue at the university campus. The dialogue between Sadanand Menon (Chandralekha Archive, Chennai),  Joyoti Roy (National Museum, Delhi),  Prakash Mugdam (National Film Archives, Pune), Chaitanya Kunthe (Ranade Archive, Pune), Sneha Ragavan (Asia Art Archive, New Delhi), Rashmi Sawhney (Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru), PP Sneha (Centre for Internet and Society, Bengaluru), and Noopur Desai (Centre for Arts and Social Practice, Pune) posed several challenges and possibilities for archiving and digital scholarship in India at present.

The colloquium displayed that  archival engagement concerns not only the medium of the archival record but also conceptual questions and pedagogic implications. The dialogue on the opportunities and challenges of digital archiving is pertinent to the recent insightful work on the arts and culture in India. By exploring the scope of digital scholarship, further insight into archiving and pedagogic practices was offered up. 

Some of the questions the colloquium addressed were through the three sessions held:

1. Digital Archives: Concepts and Practices
What are the implications of the digitization of the archive, and what does it do to how we understand what comprises of an archive? This  session took stock of the sea-change in archiving and shared best practices.

2. Technology of Digital Scholarship
The nature of scholarship has changed with the advent of new technologies. There was discussion on the new resources , such as "pad.ma" and "public juris" and what these technologies mean for use in digital scholarship?

3. Pedagogical Tools for Digital Archiving
Science, social sciences, humanities account for their own histories increasingly through the digital archive and we discussed the pedagogical challenges generated by digital scholarship and the future potential of collaborative work.