Session of the Week: The Deep History of Africa: New Narrative Approaches

In an effort to highlight the diverse range of scholarship at the upcoming annual meeting, we’re highlighting different sessions on the blog each week.

Representing a multi-disciplinary approach to history, a panel of linguists, archeologists and historians will convene at the annual meeting to caste new light on existing narratives in early African history. Scholars in this panel will investigate new methodological approaches to African history, including the use of emerging topography and mapping technology, documentary film, and multi-media websites.

The Deep History of Africa: New Narrative Approaches
(AHA Session 200)

Date: Saturday, January 5, 2013: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM
Location: Oak Alley Room (Sheraton New Orleans)
Chair: James H. Sweet, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Topics:
"I Could Not Care for My Body or My Health": Excavating Africans’ Voices for Research and Teaching
Trevor Russell Getz, San Francisco State University

Re-Mapping African History in GIS: An Introduction to WorldMap/AfricaMap
Suzanne Preston Blier, Harvard University

The Digital Reconstruction of Songo Mnara, Tanzania
Jeffrey Fleisher, Rice University; Stephanie Wynne-Jones, University of York

Controlling the Fire: Individuation and Investment in West Africa
David Schoenbrun, Northwestern University; William Gblerkpor, University of Texas at Austin

Session Abstract
Interest in early African history has been waning for some time now. Compelling stories can be told from the fragments of archaeological, oral, archival, and linguistic sources that early Africanist historians rely upon. The problem resides in presenting these compelling narratives in formats that are relevant and attractive to younger scholars (to say nothing of the broader public). The scholars on this panel—including archaeologists, linguists, and historians—will demonstrate the creative and cutting-edge ways that early African histories can be conveyed through film, graphic novels, and multi-media web sites, as well as through more traditional monographic narratives.

Previous Session of the Week posts we’ve featured:

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