A Community Reborn: Archiving the London-French Web

Huc-Hepher, S. 2017. A Community Reborn: Archiving the London-French Web. Mapping Multilingualism and Digital Culture. King's College, London 22 - 22 Jun 2017

TitleA Community Reborn: Archiving the London-French Web
AuthorsHuc-Hepher, S.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

This paper outlines the London-French Web archiving project conducted in the framework of my doctoral research. The three-fold process of exploration, selection and classification involved in the curation exercise acted not only as a means to an end, that is, the production of a lasting output in the form of a Special Collection in the UK Web Archive, but as an ethnographically immersive experience in its own right, enabling a deeper and more nuanced understanding of London’s French community through its digital representations. Sprio refers to the “inbetweenness” of the transnational experience as a ‘third timespace’ (2013: 61); however, it is only when the intangible reality of migrants’ online lives is acknowledged that this third space is validated. In an age when migrants spend increasing amounts of time online (Miller, 2012), suspended between “host” and “home” cultures, and in turn between host and home languages, it has become a necessity for researchers to acknowledge this digital presence. The construction of the London-French Special Collection does precisely that, providing a new research object, itself requiring an innovative “ethnosemiotic” analytical paradigm, and offering the community, together with French teachers/learners, a lasting set of cultural, linguistic and historic resources.Moreover, the combination of methodologies deployed have wider scholarly resonance, presenting new research directions for Modern Foreign Languages within the Digital Humanities.

KeywordsDigital Humanities; Web Archive; French Community in London
Year2017
ConferenceMapping Multilingualism and Digital Culture
Web address (URL) of conference proceedingshttps://languageacts.org/digital-mediations/event/mapping-multilingualism-and-digital-culture/

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