Matrix is pleased to report the recent presentation of “Podcasting the Past: Africa Past and Present and (South) African History in the Digital Age” by Peter Alegi, Michigan State University historian and co-host of the Matrix produced podcast Africa Past and Present. This presentation was part of the 23rd biennial meeting of the Southern African Historical Society, which took place from June 27-29, 2011, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.
Reflecting on several years’ experience hosting Africa Past and Present, “Podcasting the Past” explores the role of podcasting in the production and dissemination of historical knowledge about Africa and South Africa in a global context. Drawing on a variety of primary and secondary sources, the paper examines technical aspects, issues of audience and access across the digital divide, podcasting as a new form of scholarly publishing, and the impact of podcasting on teaching about Africa. Africa Past and Present represents an unusual example of changing trends in the academic disciplines of history and area studies in the digital age; shows feature interviews with eminent scholars and persons, commentary on current events, and issues and debates of relevance to Africans at home and abroad, all seeking to broaden the availability and accessibility of cutting-edge knowledge relating to African experiences. The paper concludes that podcasting can be a powerful technological tool with which to democratize knowledge, enrich classroom learning, and propel the “increasing incorporation of ‘Africa’ and ‘Africans’ within the new streams of academic and even popular discourse.”
Africa Past and Present is co-hosted by Michigan State University historians Peter Alegi and Peter Limb and produced by Matrix. An online digital archive of all shows, as well as links to multimedia resources and collections of relevance to African experiences can be found at http://afripod.aodl.org/.