June, 2009 archive

Report from ‘Saharan Crossroads: Views from the North’

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

From the American Institute for Maghrib Studies:

The AIMS Annual Conference had many firsts this year. It was our first collaborative effort as we paired with our sister ORC the West African Rearch Association, WARA. It was the first conference where we received over 100 proposals, and it was our first three-day event. We had noteable attendees including Mary Ellen Lane, CAORC director, and our first Donna Lee Bowen Travel Awardee, Tara Deubel. Her research interests are highlighted in the latest AIMS newsletter, which you all should have received, and it is also available online on the AIMS website. Also on the website are the final conference program and a compilation of presenter absracts.

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In Memoriam: Philip D. Curtin, 1922–2009

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Pillarisetti Sudhir writes on the American Historical Association Blog:

Curtin started his long teaching career as an assistant professor back at Swarthmore College. He then moved to the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Here he teamed up with colleague Jan Vansina to help launch and develop the hitherto neglected field of African history, and started a department of African languages and literature (the first such department in the United States). With a series of pathbreaking publications such as The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census, which raised new questions even as it set new standards for accurate cliometrics of a complex past, The World and the West: The European Challenge and the Overseas Response in the Age of Empire, The Rise and Fall of the Plantation Complex: Essays in Atlantic History, and The Image of Africa: British Ideas and Action, 1780–1850 (which received the AHA’s Schuyler Prize), Curtin made himself a name as a brilliant historian who broke away from the dominant Eurocentric models of historiography of other continents to create a critical and pioneering body of scholarship on Africa, the Atlantic world, the British empire, and comparative history. As if responding to the tug of the Atlantic (and perhaps a love of the sea rooted in his tenure with the Merchant Marines) reflected in his works, Curtin moved to the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1975, where he became the Herbert Baxter Adams Professor of History.

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Fifth Islamic Manuscript Conference, Cambridge 24-26 July 2009: “Access and Rights”

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

In 2009, the Conference will specifically address the issue of access to manuscripts. Improving access to manuscripts through digitisation and electronic ordering and delivery systems whilst ensuring their proper long-term preservation is fundamental to the successful future study of the Islamic heritage. Presently, technologies are available that have the potential to transform the way manuscripts are studied; however, the access these technologies can allow is counterbalanced by collection holders’ concerns regarding their legal rights and the financial sustainability of their organisations. During the Fifth Islamic Manuscript Conference these vital issues will be discussed by our invited speakers and selected paper presenters.

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