A core component of what we do at the FHYA is being on the lookout for new challenges. This also means learning how to use new tools and testing them both in practice and in theory. From time to time, members of the team focus on a particular software and investigate if and how it can be deployed in digital archival curation. In this spirit, last May FHYA team members Carolyn Hamilton, Ettore Morelli, Rifqah Kahn, Vanessa Chen, along with Michelle House, joined Stefania Merlo and Justine Wintjes from our Afridig partner project Metsemegologolo in an online training session on GIS, or Geographic Information System software.
At the beginning of 2021, the APC launched a Research Group focused on the history of Lesotho and neighbouring areas. Convened by Ettore Morelli, it includes Patrick Whang, Sibusiso Nkomo, Carolyn Hamilton, Mojalefa Koloko and Katleho Shoro, while other APCers join the discussion on specific occasions.
The group’s work is particularly attentive to archives left behind by various historical actors, including scholars, writers and journalists, Sotho royals, missionaries, and colonial officers, covering the 19th and 20th century.
As news broke in April 2021 that a fire at the University of Cape Town had engulfed the Jagger Library and that its unparalleled collection of rare books, manuscripts, recordings, and more was imperilled, Africanists around the world looked on in horror. How many dissertations will never be written, we ask; how many questions never asked, how much history forestalled by this unimaginable loss?
On Thursday August 19th, APC welcomed Dr Lindsay O’Neill, Associate Teaching Professor at the University of Southern California, who presented a lab titled “English Sources and African Lives: Finding the Princes and People of Mpfumo (1715-1723)”. The lab was attended by 22 APC associates, a mix of students, postdocs and researchers. This paper, which forms an early part of Dr O’Neill’s current book project, offered an account of the travels of two high-ranking men from what is now Maputo.