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African Studies Association Meeting 2014

17 December on Africa, Conferences  
Faculty and staff from Matrix, History, and Anthropology organized three digital humanities and social sciences sessions at the annual meeting of the African Studies Association in November in Indianapolis.Three dozen scholars attended a pre-conference Digital African Studies workshop. This four-hour event introduced participants to concepts, projects, and digital tools that help academics find new interpretive paths and connections in their courses and research. Presenters included: Walter Hawthorne, Liz Timbs, Ethan Watrall, Dean Rehberger, Peter Alegi, and Brandon Locke.

On Friday, Watrall, Timbs, and Hawthorne joined Carla Martin and John Mugane (Harvard) in a roundtable about cultural mapping, digital pedagogy, online multimedia repositories and databases. The presentations sparked a vigorous discussion with the audience about the significant opportunities and not insignificant challenges of working with IT tools, open access and open sources approaches, international partnerships, best practices, research ethics, and the digital divide.

The following day, Laura Seay (Colby College), Alegi, and Rehberger participated in a roundtable focused on merging professional and personal online identities. The wide-ranging dialogue with the audience pivoted around our experiences with, and challenges, and opportunities of, integrating social media (e.g. Twitter, Tmblr, Facebook), blogs, podcasts and other digital media in Africa research, teaching, and public engagement.