The Allure of the Archives:
Capturing Vernacular Understandings of Law and Justice
Rebecca J. Scott
In this colloquium, a historian and a translator each reflect on the challenges of conveying and interpreting the voices found in judicial archives of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
From appeals presented to the French king seeking the imprisonment of “disorderly” spouses and children, to suits for freedom from slavery in antebellum Louisiana courts, judicial archives yield fragments of ‘captured speech’ that can reveal popular understandings of law and justice. What is it that supplicants and litigants hoped might be heard within their appeals, and how did their claims differ from the law as codified?
Rebecca Scott is co-author with Jean Hébrard of Freedom Papers: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation, published by Harvard University Press, which won the 2012 Beveridge Award from the American Historical Association.
Thomas Scott-Railton is the translator of Arlette Farge, The Allure of the Archives, published by Yale University Press, and a finalist for the 2013 non-fiction translation prize from the French-American Foundation. He is currently translating Arlette Farge and Michel Foucault, Le Désordre des familles.
See the poster below!
Get the new school year started right with the NYU Libraries. Join us for our Annual Graduate Student Reception. It is a great opportunity to meet your subject librarian, as well as mingle with your fellow graduate students over some complimentary food and drinks. We will be giving away NYU Bookstore gift certificates to some lucky attendees. The reception will take place:
–> Thursday, September 11, 5:30-7:00, 8th floor North Reading Room, Bobst library
Our New Student Orientation is taking place next week, Thursday, August 28, at 6:00pm. It will be held directly across the street from Draper at 13-19 University Place, in room 102 (an auditorium on the main floor — there will be signs).
Our directors will welcome you and talk about being a new student, our faculty will go over their upcoming courses, and you’ll hear from representatives from our student-run journal, Anamesa, and the Draper Student Organization (aka DSO).
If you cannot make it to the orientation — that’s fine! We can cover all the necessary over the phone, by email, or in person at a later time. And, as always, you can email email@example.com with questions.
Following orientation, around 7:00pm, we’ll have a party at Draper (accross the street at 14 University Place). All Draperites welcome! Food and wine will be served and we’ll kick off the start of the fall semester.
Please join us for a Draper Program Open house tonight, Friday May 23, at 6:00pm.
We will begin with Robert Dimit, our associate director, giving an overview of the program and its structure. We’ll also have Draper students give a brief talk about Anamesa, our student-run-journal (and a useful peek into a project many Draper students are involved in each semester). There will be a question-and-answer period following, and then we’ll break for coffee and donut holes, and a meet and greet some of our staff and students.
Draper is located at 14 University Place, 1st floor. We’re just south of the intersection of 8th St. and University Place, and our entrance is on the west side of University, through a wrought-iron gate and down three steps. There is a walking map here
, for reference, with directions from all the nearest subway stops. If you get lost, please call our main line: 212-998-8070
Let us know if you have questions!
Come celebrate with us!
This Thursday, May 15:
Draper End-of-Semester and May Graduation Party
Draper Map Room at 14 University Place
Free food and drink as always, plus we’ll unveil and read from the poster with our graduate’s names and thesis titles which will then hang in the Map Room in perpetuity.
Friends, family, and advisors all very welcome!