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H-Net Community: Building Bridges

The Third Annual African Internet Connectivity Workshop

6-23 July 1999

H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online and the Michigan State University African Studies Center are preparing for their third annual African Internet Connectivity Workshop at Michigan State University at MSU. This summer's workshop will focus on humanities computing with particular attention to the variety of ways that the Internet can be utilized by archives, museums, libraries, and other repositories of historical and heritage documents, images, tapes, and artifacts. Participants will receive exposure to best practices in humanities computing, experience hands-on training, and participate in a wide variety of policy discussions. The goal of the workshop is to assist key staff members in central cultural institutions to better utilize new communication and computing technology. (On-going support and assistance by H-Net will be available after the workshop is concluded.) In doing so, the project will assist participants to better understand how electronic resources can be used for the greater ends of national reconciliation, community cultural development, civic education and participation, and the creation of democratic networks.

The Internet Connectivity Workshop stands to greatly benefit the United States, Southern, and greater Africa. It would enable worldwide contact with/distribution and reception of the rich resources of Africa, and at the same time offer the opportunity for African scholars to fully participate in the emerging global academy. This project will lay the foundation for closer connectivity and thereby closer collaboration among a wide variety of students, scholars, librarians, as well as individuals beyond the academy.

This summer's workshop will run from July 6 through July 23. Six participants from South African, four from Zambia, and one from Senegal will spend two weeks in East Lansing and five days in Washington DC, taking part in an intensive program on the pedagogical and research uses of the Internet and the World Wide Web. Participants should be centrally placed in cultural institutions---archives, museums, libraries, and universities-and be in the position to direct and/or personally implement Internet projects at their institution.

Participants should come to the workshop with specific goals and projects in mind. They will receive plenty of opportunity for hands-on and one-on-one instruction, as well as participating in seminars, roundtables, and workshops to help them meet their goals and move their projects forward. Individuals working on related projects will also be able to meet with a range of specialists in their fields in both individual and group sessions.

Between 6 July and 17 July, participants will be housed on Michigan State University's campus in East Lansing, Michigan. They will attend daily seminars, demonstrations and workshops, tailored to their specific interests. There will also be computer laboratories available for individual work. For the last week, participants will stay in Washington, D.C. as guests of Michigan State University's Washington Office. During their stay, participants will meet representatives from the United States Information Agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Michigan Congressional Delegation. Participants will attend workshops at the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, and National Archives on the uses of digital projects and archives. The global reach of the Internet will make it possible for participants to continue to draw on these contacts with agencies and individuals. These contacts, as we know from our experience with H-Net, become the framework around which online academic networks are built and around which they grow.

Workshop participants from the past two years have found these sessions most rewarding if they come to the program with a basic knowledge of how to use a personal computer. Interested persons need not be computer experts, although we provide advanced and highly specialized training for individuals based on their own needs and desires.

The United States Information Agency, Michigan State University, and H-Net fund this summer's workshop. Participants will receive a found-trip ticket form their home to Michigan and Washington, housing and standard US government per diem rates for food and incidentals in each city. They will also receive a $70 return trip allowance.

Mark Kornbluh
Executive Director, H-Net

David Wiley,
Director, African Studies Center

Humanities & Social Sciences OnLine
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in cooperation with MSU Department of History
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