What is an archive? How might the form or content of archives invent, challenge, or narrate knowledge of the past? How do archives silence? What is paper, ink, or a material object to an archivist or an archive? And how has the emerging field of critical archive studies transformed our understanding of literary archives, archives about literature, and archive fictions? This course will approach these questions from three angles. First, we’ll read selections from critical and fictional works on the study, creation, and uses of archives. This material will help us to analyze the significance of the archive’s architecture, content, context, provenance, and cultural weight. Our aim will be to study archival spaces, objects, and narratives (and depictions thereof) not as repositories of facts or fixed knowledge, but as contested sites of inquiry, disruption, and dissonance. Second, we’ll consider, by extension, the intersection of archival knowledge-making and the public sphere. How might archival scholarship grow through its collaborations with the public? Finally, we’ll consider how the creation of digital archives might re-shape narratives of the past and/or the production of knowledge. Students will have an opportunity to study physical and digital archives and to create digital archives and exhibits. Knowledge of advanced computer languages is unnecessary. However, this course will require curiosity, imagination, and a desire to experiment with the intersection of digital scholarship, critical archive studies, and cultural texts.