The Southern African Historical Society biennial meeting displayed dynamism, renewed energy, and increasing interest in digital initiatives.
Jane Carruthers re-instituted the practice of a presidential address; she used the opportunity to encourage academic historians to take a more active role in public debates about heritage and history in Southern Africa, saying, “History does not have sole rights on the past.” She also reflected on historiographical turning points—a clear reminder that we’re empowered to make our own histogriographical moments, and current political fluidity offers ample opportunities.
Keynote speaker William Beinart provoked conference delegates to think beyond the nationalist narratives that have predominated in South African history, drawing upon the practices of African history, social history, and environmental history to craft new narratives “from the ground up.”
Read more about the meeting and the digital initiatives on Making History Podcast: The BlogAbstracts of papers
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