Doing Digital History in South Africa

Peter Alegi and Walter Hawthorne speaking at UWC, October 3, 2016

Peter Alegi and Walter Hawthorne speaking at UWC, October 3, 2016

On October 3, 2016, Peter Alegi gave a talk at the University of the Western Cape’s Mayibuye Centre in South Africa titled “Doing Digital History: Processes, Platforms & Partnerships.” The event was organized by our friend and colleague Dr. Anthea Josias, a UWC faculty member and recent postdoc in the MSU History Department.

The presentation discussed MSU’s production of digital projects in collaboration with African scholars and institutions; the importance of making African content and knowledge more widely accessible online; and ways to integrate digital humanities into undergraduate and graduate education.

Jamie Monson and audience

From left: Anthea Josias, Jamie Monson and members of the audience.

Alegi analyzed the creation and maintenance of online multimedia collections such as the African Online Digital Library, the Community Video Education Trust Video Archive, and the Overcoming Apartheid web curriculum. The presentation highlighted some of the exciting ways researchers, instructors, students, and Internet users around the world are engaging with these websites.

Walter Hawthorne, chair of the History Department, and Dean Rehberger, Director of Matrix, joined Alegi to share their experiences working on the Slave Biographies database project and on the KORA digital repository and publishing platform. The contingent of MSU historians in South Africa also included Jamie Monson, Director of the African Studies Center.