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2013 November

David Bennett


November 29, 2013

Television News Cameras and the Observer Effect

November 29, 2013 | By | No Comments

There is a distinct power in the act of observation. Both in the world of quantum mechanics, where the life of a cat hangs in the balance, and in the messy world of human behavior. In my last post, I discussed how the existence of video footage of an event should fundamentally alter how historians write about it, since what they write must compete directly with that footage in the minds of their audience. In this post, I will argue that the television news camera cannot be seen as a passive observer of events, but instead must be recognized as a participating force.
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November 28, 2013

Indigeneous Research Approaches and Archival Work

November 28, 2013 | By | No Comments

As I continue thinking about how to do archival work, I found myself this week listening to Malea Powell’s words from her chapter “Dreaming Charles Eastman: Cultural Memory, Autobiography and Geography in Indigenous Rhetorical Histories” published in the book Beyond the Archives: Research as Lived Process. In this chapter, Powell tells her story about her experience doing Native American archival research at the Saint Louis University Law library and the Newberry Library in Chicago. As she digs through the archival material in the two libraries, she critically reflects on the colonial and imperial agenda behind the collection and preservation of American Indian’s materials in these archives. At the Newberry library, she shares what she was thinking as she “felt” the letters written by Charles Eastman, an American Indian intellectual born in 1858 on the Santee Sioux (Dakota) reservation in Minnesota. Powell narrates:

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November 26, 2013

African Studies in the Digital Age

November 26, 2013 | By | One Comment

This past weekend, I attended the 56th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association in Baltimore, Maryland. It was a fantastic event, bringing together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines, from history and anthropology to public health and geography. In addition to sharing their research, scholars also reflected on future trajectories of African Studies. Aside from particular research angles that need to be explored, numerous scholars commented on the need for greater utilization of digital humanities in the study of Africa.

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