African Studies in the Digital Age

Tuesday, 11 November, 2014 - 08:30

All events take place in the Erlicher Room, North Quad (unless otherwise noted), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Monday, 10 November

9-10 Opening Session

with: Daniel Herwitz, Comparative Literature, U-M

Derek Peterson, History, U-M


10-12 A Seminar with Isabel Hofmeyr

on: Gandhi’s Printing Press: Experiments with Slow Reading (Harvard, 2013)

The Portable Bunyan: A Transnational History of The Pilgrim’s Progress (Princeton, 2003), selections


1:30-3:30 Tour of the Digital Media Commons


4-6 Lecture from Isabel Hofmeyr: ‘Mandela's Copyright: Intellectual Property and the Postcolonial World’


Tuesday, 11 November

10-12 The Digital Humanities: A Short Introduction

with: Julie Klein, Digital Humanities Collaboratory, Wayne State University

Paul Conway, School of Information, U-M


1:30-4:00 Whither the Archive?

with: Keith Breckenridge (Wits), on the Aluka Project

Michele Pickover (Wits), on the digitization of the Wits Historical papers

Derek Peterson (U-M), on the digitization of archives in Uganda


4-6 Lecture from Keith Breckenridge: ‘The Political Virtues of the Imperial Archive: Burke, Milner and the Scandal of Empire’ (in 4701 Haven Hall)


Wednesday, 12 November (in the Rackham Amphitheater)

9-10:15 The Infrastructure of Hathi Trust

with: Mike Furlough, Executive Director, Hathi Trust


10:45-12 Fair Use and the Law

with: Melissa Levine, Lead Copyright Officer, U-M Library

Jessica Litman, U-M School of Law


2-4 Google Books

with: Paul Courant, formerly University Librarian, U-M

Thursday, 13 November 

10-12 New Media

with: Sharon Leon, Director of Public Projects at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University


2-4 Platforms

with: Dean Rehberger or Kurt Dewhurst (MSU), in MATRIX’s Africa projects

Grant McNulty (Archives and Public Culture, UCT), on the Five Hundred Year Archive project



Friday, 14 November 

10-12 Teaching and Research

with: Angel Nieves, Co-Director of the Digital Humanities Initiative at Hamilton College

Bruce Janz, Director of the Center for Humanities and Digital Research at University of Central Florida


2-4 The News

with: Dinesh Balliah (Wits), on the digital work of journalism at Wits

Peter Limb (MSU), on the African newspaper archive



Monday, 17 November

10-12 Architecture

with: Tara McPherson, Cinematic Arts, USC


2-5 Access, Intellectual Property, and Teaching (in the Henderson Room, Michigan League)

with: Martha Jones (U-M), on the Law in Slavery and Freedom Project

Kelly Askew, Paul Conway, and David Wallace (U-M), on the Leo Sarkisian music archive

Akosua Adomako Ampofo and Judith Opoku-Boateng (Uni. of Ghana), on digital archiving at the Institute of African Studies.



Tuesday, 18 November

10-12 A Discussion of Paths Forward


4-6 Publishing In and About Africa

with: Gillian Berchowitz, Director, Ohio University Press

James Tumusiime, founder and publisher, Fountain Publishers

Alexander Bangirana, Head of Publications and Dissemination, CODESRIA

Charles Watkinson, Director, University of Michigan Press


* * *

This workshop is part of a five-year program of academic exchange joining the African Studies Center at the University of Michigan with the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. The program, entitled ‘Joining Theory and Empiricism in the Remaking of the African Humanities: A Transcontinental Collaboration,’ is generously funded by the Mellon Foundation.