June brings adventuring archaeologists, cattle herders and a fascinating look into the British Library’s collection of Canadian photography.
Knowledge Sovereignty Among African Cattle Herders (20th June) argues that indigenous knowledge can be viewed as a stand-alone science, and that a community’s rights over ownership should be defended by government officials, development planners and policy makers, making the case for a celebration of the knowledge sovereignty of pastoralist communities. It’s a fascinating argument, informed by Zeremariam Fre’s experiences as the founding director and former head of regional NGO, the Pastoral and Environmental Network in the Horn of Africa (PENHA).
Amara Thornton’s Archaeologists in Print (25th June) has received one of the best endorsements we’ve ever read. Dr Samantha Rayner, Dirctor of the UCL Centre for Publishing said:
‘This beautifully written book will be valued by all kinds of readers: you don’t need to be an archaeologist to enjoy the contents, which take you through different publishing histories of archaeological texts and the authors who wrote them. From the productive partnership of travel guide with archaeological interest, to the women who feature so often in the history of archaeological publishing, via closer analysis of the impact of John Murray, Macmillan and Co, and Penguin, this volume excavates layers of fascinating facts that reveal much of the wider culture of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The prose is clear and the stories compulsive: Thornton brings to life a cast of people whose passion for their profession lives again in these pages.
Warning: the final chapter, on Archaeological Fictions, will fill your to-be-read list with stacks of new titles to investigate! This is a highly readable, accessible exploration into the dynamic relationships between academic authors, publishers, and readers. It is, in addition, an exemplar of how academic research can attract a wide general readership, as well as a more specialised one: a stellar combination of rigorous scholarship with lucid, pacy prose. Highly recommended!’
Finally, Canada in the Frame (18 June) explores a wonderful photographic collection held at the British Library that offers a unique view of late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Canada. The collection, which contains in excess of 4,500 images, taken between 1895 and 1923, covers a dynamic period in Canada’s national history and provides a variety of views of its landscapes, developing urban areas and peoples.
Written by Philip Hatfield, Head of the Eccles Centre for American Studies and former Curator for Canadian and Caribbean Collections at the British Library , the book asks key questions about what it shows contemporary viewers of Canada and its photographic history, and about the peculiar view these photographs offer of a former part of the British Empire in a post-colonial age, viewed from the old ‘Heart of Empire’. Case studies are included on subjects such as urban centres, railroads and migration, which analyse the complex ways in which photographers approached their subjects, in the context of the relationship between Canada, the British Empire and photography.