Meet The Team

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Cassandra Mark-Thiesen

Cassandra Mark-Thiesen scrutinises the practices of African and Africa-based knowledge production in African Studies, in particular as recorded in the journal of historical societies and history departments (in West-, East and southern Africa), the bulk of which emerged in the (1960s and)1970s. Digital humanities tools will be used to examine these works as a collective body of knowledge; exploring apparent trends across this corpus of Africa-based historical writings comprising of thousands of articles, as they concern citations, circulations of knowledge, scholarly aesthetics, the space given to history written by “amateurs”, etc. A close reading approach will be used to discover notions of temporalities, publics, self-fashioning, professionalization, African unity, and postcolonial politics. The project investigates “visible” and “invisible” power in the production (and afterlives) of these journals.

The continent of Africa, already disadvantaged in the global constellation of power in the circulation of knowledge, also draws concern over its endangered and lost archival materials. Therefore, we will be collaborating with the Liberia Broadcasting System to preserve their video archive, covering the entire era of the 1980s, as part of the project. Finally, the project seeks to develop new forms of collaboration by working closely with the Historical Society of Liberia. Mark-Thiesen is developing a monograph on public history in Liberia’s nation-building project.

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Luisa Schneider

 

Luisa Schneider’s project contributes to the scholarship on “returning” to Africa before and since the start of the transatlantic slave trade. In using “unorthodox” source material from internet forums to nature-based monuments, she pursues a grand narrative of transatlantic returning at the crossroads of historical “repatriations” and recent “Year of Return” festivals. In particular, she questions how this mobility has shaped public life in Africa. Her study seeks to contribute to the interdisciplinary scholarship of the legacy of slavery within African-based societies and in local public discourses.

Student Assistants

Ololade Edun

Felix Ampoma