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Meet The Team


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.


Edidiong Ibanga adopts an interdisciplinary approach to question the (re)presentations of womanhood in Liberian media. At the intersection of media studies, gender studies and history, her project privileges the co-production of knowledge between academic institutions and communities/practitioners, by adopting methodologies that grant women agency in (re)creating their histories. In considering the mediation of womanhood in Liberian television broadcasts of the 1980s, alongside contemporary self-imaginations, she attempts to reimagine Liberia's history away from predominant nationalistic discourses. Her work questions the representation of women as projections and producers, and how these representations have evolved through time; assesing how power is constructed through this process, and exploring the memories conjured to reflect on these (re)presentations versus current realities, and the intersection of both.  


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.

Edidiong Ibanga

Student Assistants

Ololade Edun

Felix Ampoma

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