[Irtalk] Fwd: Call for papers - SCOLMA conference - Dis/connects: African Studies in the Digital Age

Shamprasad Pujar pujar at igidr.ac.in
Thu Sep 29 06:10:48 SAST 2011


It could be useful.

best Regards,


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <libraries-net at acu.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 10:34 PM
Subject: [ACU Libraries-Net] Call for papers - SCOLMA conference -
Dis/connects: African Studies in the Digital Age
To: libraries-net <libraries-net at mailman.acu.ac.uk>

 *SCOLMA: The UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa*

* *


* *

*Dis/connects: African Studies in the Digital Age*

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*Oxford, 25–26 June 2012*

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The digital revolution is profoundly affecting African studies. New digital
resources are making available large areas of content, as well as greatly
improving access to bibliographies. In Africa, governments and NGOs are
publishing online, some publishers are moving to print on demand and
e-books, and international academic journals are increasingly becoming
available in university and national libraries.

Yet the story, as is well-known, is far from straightforward or
unproblematic. This conference will mark the 50th anniversary of the
founding of SCOLMA by taking a critical look at the field of African studies
and how it is changing. In particular, although there has been much
discussion of new digital resources and what their creators plan to do, we
have a limited understanding of their *impact* on their users and on
knowledge production in general. For example, what are the implications for
historical research of the availability of digitised sources, and of the
choices made in their selection? How do social science researchers work in a
field in which much, but not everything, is now available online? Are
e-journals – or indeed mobile phones – beginning to change the research
process in Africa? And, more generally, how have broader historical and
political developments changed African studies and librarianship over the
last half-century?

We welcome papers on these themes across the humanities, arts, social
sciences and sciences. Papers may deal with digital content, whether
digitised or born-digital, of any kind, e.g. archives and manuscripts;
audio-visual material; maps; newspapers; books, journals and theses;
photographs, prints, drawings and paintings; ephemera; statistical
databases; and social media.

The conference will bring together academics and other researchers with
librarians and archivists. We aim thus to have a productive exchange of
expertise, experience and analysis on the question of knowledge production
in African studies.

Themes may include, but are not limited to:

   - How scholars, researchers, librarians and archivists use digitised
   - How African studies is changing, and the place of the digital
   revolution in these changes.
   - Access to, selection of, and training in the use of digital resources
   in the library context. Are resources under-used?
   - To pay or not to pay? How easy is it for researchers to find
   subscription e-resources? And for libraries to fund them? What is the
   balance of free and charged resources in the research process? How well do
   the models for making e-resources available in Africa work?
   - How well does user consultation work?
   - Access to the technology that underpins e-resources.
   - Digital scholarship: are scholars in African studies using digital
   collections to generate new intellectual products?
   - The impact of mobile phone technology on African studies.
   - How patchy is the creation of digital resources, and what – and who –
   is being left behind?
   - Language in Africa and new technology.

One-page abstracts of papers on these themes are warmly welcomed. If you
would like to give a paper, please send your abstract to

Lucy McCann

SCOLMA Secretary

Email: lucy.mccann at bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Tel.: 01865 270908


Papers in French are welcome if a summary is provided in English.


Jonathan Harle

ACU Libraries & Information Network

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Dr Shamprasad M. Pujar
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Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research
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MUMBAI-400 065, India

Phone: ++91-22-2841 6547
E-mail: pujar at igidr.ac.in
Skype: sham.pujar
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