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Kate Wells

York University, Toronto, Canada

Kate H. Wells is a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought at York University in Toronto, Canada. As a research associate on the Visible City Project and Archive, she has been involved in creating new methodologies for studying the historical enclaves of urban space. Her doctoral dissertation concerns the layered and lost temporalities of the city of Detroit in the U.S.

Articles of Kate Wells

Ancestral Irrepressible: Marshall McLuhan and the Future of the Archive in Derrida’s Archive Fever

McLuhan’s status as the patriarch of Canadian media studies is explored as a troublesome nomological principle in light of Derrida’s Archive Fever. The trouble with archives, for Derrida, is the trouble of the original source. Linking McLuhan’s exploration of typographical and electronic communication systems to Derrida’s deconstruction of the archive as a technology of exteriorization, this paper investigates the nature of subjectivity and objectivity in Western epistemology. Can the archive, conceived of as a medium, allow for an escape from the specters of the past? Derrida’s proposed ‘archive of the future’ is theorized in terms of McLuhan’s sense of acoustic space and Foucault’s non-subjective discourse, and as a spatial and cultural construct reflecting the technological uncertainty in an age of mixed-media.

Future of the Archive (PDF 111.5 KB)

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