IFRA-Nigeria at the first conference on Digital Humanities in Francophone Africa
Created by Prof Emmanuel Ngue Um (University Yaounde I / École Normale Supérieure de Bertoua) in 2021, the Institute of Digital Humanities in Francophone Africa (InHuNum-Af) aims at reinforcing the skills of francophone African scholars in Digital Humanities and creating networks and common projects. This seminal conference was supported by Prof Elisabeth Burr (University of Leipzig and chair of the Standing Committee on Multi-lingualism and multi-culturalism of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organisations) and funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.
The participants were trained in basic computing skills as well as in TEI or stylomety. They also benefited from the experience of various scholars in Digital Humanities who shared the knowledge and tips they have acquired from part projects.
Dr Vincent Hiribarren took part in a round table on the perspectives, opportunities and challenges with Education on Digital Humanities. Moreover, together with Dr Cyrielle Maingraud-Martinaud, they presented the current digitisation projects at IFRA-Nigeria focusing on the digitisation of the personal archive of the late Comrade Ola Oni. They described the different steps the project undertook, and reflected on methodological, epistemological and ethical concerns including the issue of decolonisation of knowledge, language, classification, sovereignty of data, further uses of the documents etc.
The participants engaged the project and asked questions on different topics, including the current rate of the disappearance of personal archives in their respective countries, or the issue of the reliance on external donors with their own agenda. The conference led to the creation of a network of francophone African scholars in Digital Humanities that IFRA-Nigeria will be excited to partner with in the future.
The IFRA team also took this opportunity to meet with the Councellor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs of the Embassy of France in Yaoundé, as well as the Attaché for University and Research cooperation, to discuss the implementation of common projects and strengthening of relations between IFRA and Cameroon.