Event location: South Campus, Council Chambers

Event date and time: 22/11/2018 17:00:00

Originally planned as a fact-based book on the pre-colonial history of the Eastern Cape in the true tradition of history, this ground-breaking book focuses on epistemological and foundational questions about the writing of history and whose history counts. Whose History Counts challenges the very concept of “pre-colonial” and explores methodologies on researching and writing history. 

The reason for this dramatic change of focus is attributed in the introduction of the book to the student-led rebellion that erupted following the #RhodesMustFall campaign which started at the University of Cape Town on 9 March 2015. Key to the rebellion was the students’ opposition to what they dubbed “colonial” education and a clamour for, among others, a “decolonised curriculum”. This book is a direct response to this clarion call.
This book is the third volume published under the “Rethinking Africa” series of the Centre for African Studies (CAS), University of Cape Town (UCT). Its focus is the catalytic project on the pre-colonial historiography of southern Africa, an initiative of the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS).2 The NIHSS defines catalytic projects as “primarily research-based” programmes which aim “to catalyse and open up new avenues” for Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) scholarship, “and to assist in and promote the development of research in the HSS”.3 Established in 2012, the overarching aim of the pre-colonial historiography project was to create a platform that would support and nurture research over the long term, and promote the development of methodologies that would take forward the study of the pre-colonial eras in southern Africa. 
The book is the outcome of a conference that was held at the then Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (now Nelson Mandela University) from 15 to 17 March 2017. The conference was organised by CAS in collaboration with the Centre forhe Advancement of Non-Racialism & Democracy (CANRAD) at Nelson Mandela University. Volume 1 (Ntsebeza & Saunders 2014) of the project was published, following a conference held in the CAS Gallery on 28 and 29 March 2014. A second 352-page volume (De Prada-Samper 2016) on stories from the Karoo in the Northern Cape was published at the end of 2016. This was the result of research done by Professors Simon Hall of UCT and Jose Manuel de Prada, Honorary Research Associate in the UCT Humanities Faculty.

Contact information
Ms Asiphe Mxalisa
Research assistant
Tel: 041 504 4390