Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

“Curating Kisumu” and “Curating East Africa:” Academic Collaboration and Public Engagement in the Digital Age

  • Meshack Owino and J. Mark Souther

Abstract

This essay examines the origin, permutations, potentials, challenges, and implications of two successive, collaborative public history research, teaching, and learning projects undertaken by the Department of History at Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, and the Department of History and Archeology at Maseno University, Kisumu, Kenya between 2014 and 2018. The two projects explored how opportunities created by the mobile revolution in Africa could be leveraged to generate new ways of acquiring historical information and knowledge between students and faculty in universities separated by enormous distances and by disparate social, economic, and political experiences. Specifically, the projects examined how the cellphone revolution could reshape the production and dissemination of knowledge about important sites, places, events, and people in modern Africa. The essay examines the conception and permutations of the two projects; identifies and explores their potentials and challenges; and proffers thoughts and suggestions that may guide similar future endeavors.

Résumé:

Cet essai examine l'origine, les changements en route, le potentiel, les défis et les implications de deux projets successifs et collaboratifs de recherche, d'enseignement et d'apprentissage en histoire publique entrepris par le département d'histoire de l'Université d'État de Cleveland (Ohio, Etats-Unis) et du département d'histoire et d'archéologie de l'Université Maseno (Kisumu, Kenya) entre 2014 et 2018. Les deux projets ont analysé la manière dont les opportunités créées par la révolution mobile en Afrique pourraient être exploitées pour générer de nouvelles façons d'acquérir des informations et des connaissances historiques entre les étudiants et les professeurs dans les universités séparées par d'énormes distances et par des expériences sociales, économiques et politiques différentes. Plus précisément, les projets ont étudié comment la révolution du téléphone portable pourrait remodeler la production et la diffusion de connaissances sur des sites, des lieux, des événements et des personnes de premier plan en Afrique contemporaine. L'essai examine la conception et les changements en route des deux projets, identifie et explore leur potentiel et les différents défis. Il propose aussi des réflexions et des suggestions qui peuvent guider des projets futurs similaires.

Copyright

References

Hide All
African Digital Heritage, https://africandigitalheritage.com, accessed 6 April 2019.
African Online Digital Library: Building Digital Libraries in an African Context, http://www.aodl.org, accessed 2 March 2018.
Anonymous, “Innovation in Africa: Upwardly Mobile,” Economist (25 August 2012), http://www.economist.com/node/21560912, accessed 2 March 2018.
Anyumba, Godfrey, “Kisumu Town: History of the Built Form, Planning and Environment, 1890–1990,” PhD dissertation, Delft University of Technology (Delft, 1995), https://repository.tudelft.nl/islandora/object/uuid%3A95857dc0-c835–4677–8a5a–79fd8bcc7b46, accessed 2 March 2018.
Babalola, Titilola Lucy, “The Digital Humanities and Digital Literacy: Understanding the Digital Culture in Nigeria,” Digital Studies/Le champ numérique (11 June 2014), https://www.digitalstudies.org/articles/10.16995/dscn.54, accessed 2 March 2018.
Bienkow, Adam, “Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Reveals Shocking Claim his Predecessor was Poisoned,” Business Insider (27 March 2018), https://www.businessinsider.com/cambridge-analytica-whistleblower-christopher-wylie-illegal-trump-brexit–2018–3, accessed 6 April 2019.
Brennan, Sheila, and Leon, Sharon, “Building Histories of the National Mall: A Guide to Creating a Digital Public History Project,” Histories of the National Mall (Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, October 2015), http://mallhistory.org/Guide/, accessed 3 March 2018.
Bright, Sam, “After Trump, ‘Big Data’ Firm Cambridge Analytica is Now Working in Kenya,” BBC (3 August 2017), https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending–40792078, accessed 6 April 2019.
Cohen, David William, and Odhiambo, E.S. Atieno, Siaya: The Ethnographic History of an African Landscape (Nairobi: Heinemann Kenya Ltd., 1989).
Deisser, Anne-Marie, and Njuguna, Mugwima (eds.), Conservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage in Kenya: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach (London: UCL Press, 2016).
Ekekwe, Ndubuisi, “How Digital Technology is Changing Farming in Africa,” Harvard Business Review (18 May 2017), https://hbr.org/2017/05/how-digital-technology-is-changing-farming-in-africa, accessed 28 May 2018.
Grieselhuber, Paul, “Sepal and Seed: Wordpress for the Developing World and Low Bandwidth Connections,” Paul Grieselhuber: Design, Development, Digital Strategy(16 September 2016), https://www.paulgrieselhuber.com/sepal-and-seed-wordpress-for-the-developing-world/, accessed 28 May 2018.
GSM Association, The Mobile Economy: Sub-Saharan Africa 2019, https://www.gsma.com/r/mobileeconomy/sub-saharan-africa/, accessed 9 February 2020.
Kiruga, Morris, “How the Luo, Kisii Came Up with Names of Key Places,” Daily Nation (28 July 2013), https://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/dn2/How-the-Luo-Kisii-came-up-with-names-of-key-places-/957860–1929528-bnrucy/index.html, accessed 2 March 2018.
Larimore, Anne, “The Africanization of Colonial Cities in East Africa,” East Lakes Geographer 5 (1969), 5068.
Laschinger, Verena, “Digital Humanities in Developed and Emerging Markets,” CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 13–3 (September 2011), https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/clcweb/vol13/iss3/21/, accessed 2 March 2018.
Maddox, Gregory H., and Kongola, Ernest M., Practicing History in Central Tanzania: Writing, Memory, and Performance (Portsmouth NH: Heinemann, 2006).
Meringolo, Denise D., Museums, Monuments, and National Parks: Toward a New Genealogy of Public History (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2012).
Miller, Charles, The Lunatic Express: The Magnificent Sage of the Railway’s Journey into Africa (New York: Macmillan, 1971).
Mohapi, Tefo, “M-PESA’s Origins,” Iafrikan (4 December 2017), https://www.iafrikan.com/2017/12/04/m-pesas-origins, accessed 6 April 2019.
Mulli, Thorn, “Kisumu Charms Steeped in History,” East African Standard (23 November 2015), https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/lifestyle/article/2000183307/kisumu-s-charms-steeped-in-history, accessed 2 March 2018.
Ndemo, Elijah B., “Political Entrepreneurialism: Reflections of a Civil Servant on the Role of Political Institutions in Technology Innovation and Diffusion in Kenya,” Stability: International Journal of Security & Development 41 (2015), 114.10.5334/sta.fd
Ngunjiri, James, “Kenya Tops in Phone Internet Traffic Globally,” Business Daily (20 March 2018), https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/corporate/tech/Kenya-tops-in-phone-internet-traffic-/4258474-4349966-3m4lrez/index.html, accessed 9 February 2020.
Nieves, Angel David, Apartheid Heritages: A Spatial History of South Africa’s Townships, http://apartheidheritages.org/about, accessed 2 March 2018.
Nyabola, Nanjala, Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era is Transforming Kenya (London: Zed Books, 2018).
Obudho, Robert A., and Waller, Peter P., Periodic Markets, Urbanization, and Regional Planning: A Case Study from Western Kenya (Westport CT: Praeger, 1976).
Ochieng’, William R., An Outline History of Nyanza to 1914 (Nairobi: East African Literature Bureau, 1974).
Ogot, Bethwell A., “British Administration in the Central Nyanza District of Kenya, 1900–60,” Journal of African History 42 (1963), 249273.
Ogot, Bethwell A, History of the Southern Luo (Nairobi: East African Pub. House, 1967).
Ogot, Bethwell A, Kisumu 1901–2001: From an Inland Port to First Millennium City (Kisumu: Anyange Press Ltd., 2016).
Ominde, Simeon H., Land and Population Movements in Kenya (London: Heinemann, 1968).
Pew Research Center, “Cell Phones in Africa: Communication Lifeline,” Pew Research Center (15 April 2015), http://www.pewglobal.org/files/2015/04/Pew-Research-Center-Africa-Cell-Phone-Report-FINAL-April–15–2015.pdf, accessed 2 March 2018.
Souther, J. Mark, Owino, Meshack and Bell, Erin J., “Curating East Africa: A Platform and Process for Location-Based Storytelling in the Developing World,” National Endowment for the Humanities, Digital Humanities Advancement Grant, HAA–255990–17, White Paper (31 March 2019), https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=HAA–255990–17, accessed 6 April 2019.
Tebeau, Mark, “Strategies for Mobile Interpretive Projects for Humanists and Cultural Organizations,” National Endowment for Humanities, Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant White Paper, HD–51456–11 (3 March 2013), https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=HD–51456–11, accessed 2 March 2018.
Tortora, Bob and Rheault, Magali, “Mobile Phone Access Varies Widely in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Gallup (16 September 2011), https://news.gallup.com/poll/149519/mobile-phone-access-varies-widely-sub-saharan-africa.aspx, accessed 9 February 2020.
Williams, Wendy, and Mano, Winston (eds.), Everyday Media Culture in Africa: Audiences and Users (London: Routledge, 2017).

“Curating Kisumu” and “Curating East Africa:” Academic Collaboration and Public Engagement in the Digital Age

  • Meshack Owino and J. Mark Souther

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.