ASC Commences Spring 2023 Walter Rodney Seminar Series

On February 6, 2023, the African Studies Center (ASC), an affiliated center of Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, kicked off its Walter Rodney Seminar lecture series for Spring 2023. 

In the premier lecture – “Visual Histories, Invisible Data: Documenting the Histories of Migrated Objects and Archives in Africa” – Chao Tayiana Maina, Kenyan digital heritage specialist and founder of the nonprofit African Digital Heritage, presented her research and projects on African artifact restitution and historical documentation. She outlined her ongoing projects, like the Museum of British Colonialism and Open Restitution Africa (ORA), which aim to reverse the historical erasure and erosion from colonial enterprises and how the digital transfer of history helps to preserve it.

The Museum of British Colonialism is a project dedicated to restoring the history of British colonialism in Kenya and across Africa. The digital museum recently hosted its first physical exhibit, which was dedicated to the Mau Mau Uprising and the history of detention and forced villagization in Kenya. ORA aims to map the history of restitution projects in Africa. Emerging as a direct response to a lack of information about restitution progress, ORA empowers African voices and centers the debate over restoring this historical evidence back to the original owners.

For over 40 years, the Walter Rodney lecture series has brought more than five hundred guest speakers to ASC. The series aims to bring together a truly interdisciplinary array of speakers who present cutting-edge research in African studies that encompasses the arts, humanities, social sciences, as well as health and physical sciences. “The Rodneys” are held every Monday at 12:30 p.m., and the complete schedule of Spring 2023 Walter Rodney Seminar lectures can be found on the ACS website.

Founded in 1953, BU’s ASC has provided a strong foundation in African studies to generations of university professors, economists, health workers, government officials, development personnel, diplomats, and numerous others. Learn more on the ASC website.