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

  • Meshack Owino and J. Mark Souther


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.


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.



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

  • Meshack Owino and J. Mark Souther


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