SA History Online and history students at McGill University break new ground

Omar Badsha, CEO of SAHO, speaks to history students at McGill University, 10 February 2012, Cape Town. © SAHO

History students working under Dr. Jon Soske from McGill University have successfully completed an exciting online collaboration with South African History Online (SAHO). Over the course of two months, 16 students in this programme liaised with a team of SAHO researchers and who supported students as they did their work. The student essays formed part of their South African history course, and now also forms part of a SAHO’s growing history features.

SAHO is embarking on expanding a similar program with other local and international partner institutions.

Below are brief students' profiles and links to their work.

Ben Forstate

Ben Forstate is a U3 Student at McGill University studying Political Science and Geography. He enjoys basketball, reading, writing and occasionally trying to play a piano. 

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Elizabeth Hudler

Elizabeth Hudler completed her Bachelor's degree in Political Science and African Studies with Honors in May 2012. During her undergraduate degree, she was on the editing team for thepoliticalbouillon.com, thebubble.ca and The Prognosis, McGill's Undergraduate Global Health Journal. She is interested in how people create, communicate, receive and process complex ideas of all kinds. In her spare time, she listens to NPR obsessively and tries to finish her codeacademy assignments on time.

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Francesca Mitchell

Francesca studied at McGill University as a third year exchange student from the University of Edinburgh. She is currently studying for an undergraduate degree in English Literature and History. She takes a keen interest in news and current affairs, and works as Features Editor for Edinburgh’s The Student newspaper. She also loves travelling, foreign languages and good coffee.

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Jodi McNeil

Jodi McNeill is in the third year of her Bachelor of Arts degree at McGill University. She is majoring in International Development Studies (States and Governance stream, honours program) and minoring in History with focus on the areas of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Currently active in working with several small NGOs to carry out grassroots health and education projects in East Africa after having volunteered as an HIV/AIDS educator and community outreach organizer in Uganda for four months in 2008, she is deeply passionate about all issues pertaining to democratization and political process in the developing world. Her strongest areas of interest in studying contemporary South African political history include public health, democratic civil society movements, and post-apartheid government policy.

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Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan is a fourth year at McGill University pursuing an honours degree in History with minor concentrations in World Religions and German Language. He is a native of Newton, Massachusetts, but has lived in Providence, Rhode Island, New York City, New York, and Jerusalem, Israel. He is particularly interested in American History and academic approaches to the work of Bruce Springsteen.

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Julia Duke

Julia Duke is a student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She grew up in Gaithersburg Maryland, USA before moving to Montreal to study History and Political Science. Her areas of interest include early American history and Indian Ocean History. Within those areas, she finds feminist and minority discourses particularly appealing.  She has enjoyed working with SAHO for these past five months and hopes to contribute more in the future.

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Laeticia Mendy

I am originally from Senegal, I grew up in France and the United States. I am a last year Political Science and African Studies student at McGill University. I am interested in the role of NGOs in Africa and pre-colonial and apartheid history of women. I like traveling, reading and watching sports.

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Lorna Mungur

I just completed my Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in International Development Studies, and I will be starting a Masters degree in History at McGill University. My academic interests are colonial empires, and slavery and forms of unfree labour in Africa and the Indian Ocean world. For my Masters degree, I will research the illegal slave trade from Mozambique in the 19th Century. I have a strong interest in languages and I currently speak French, English and Portuguese.

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Max Rossiter

Raised in the UK, I started at McGill in the fall of 2010. I am currently completing an honors degree in History, with a minor on philosophy. My primary academic interests are theories of law, violence and radical political thought, as well as diplomatic, legal and financial history, with a particular focus on Napoleonic-era Britain. Outside of University, I help run the History Students Association as their Vice President Finance.

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Micayla Jacobs

I recently graduated from McGill University with an honours degree in International Development Studies with a focus on Culture and Society. I was drawn to the project as my parents are South African and throughout my life I have been back to South Africa many times. Throughout my studies I have chosen to take courses related to Africa and the Middle East and this project of looking specifically at one person's biography has given interesting insight and perspective.

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Michelle Hayman

Michelle Hayman studied history and international development at McGill. After completing her BA Honours this spring, she will be starting a Master’s Degree in history at the University of Toronto this fall. Her research interests center around the late British Empire, particularly regarding gender, bio-politics, and transnational movements of people. Working with SAHO has been a great learning experience for her as she hopes to pursue a career in public history or community services. 

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Nicholas Frid

Nicholas Frid recently graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts in history.  During this past year, he was a student executive for the History Students’ Association of McGill University and a volunteer for Aids Community Care Montreal.  He will be applying to law school in the fall.

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Nicolas Magnien

Nicolas Magnien is a senior undergrad at McGill University completing  two majors in Human Geography and History. He has been interested for a long time in issues related to Indigenous peoples around the world and focuses his studies and professional experience on learning about their cultures and history. In the summer of 2011, Nicolas interned in Cape Town at the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC), an NGO whose goal is to advocate for African Indigenous peoples' rights and to ensure they have a fair voice in the various processes that affect them. More broadly, Nicolas' visit of the former prison of Robben Island has had an important influence on his perception of history as a discourse, human rights, and the place of ethnic/political minorities in modern societies.

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Savannah Seara-Robitaille 

Savannah is a first year undergrad student at McGill University. She is currently working on completing her Bachelor of Arts with a major in International Development Studies and a major in African Studies. Her interests include the political and social impacts of multicultural countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the use of child soldiers in conflicts within Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Sumaiya Virji

Sumaiya Virji graduated from McGill University with a joint honours degree in Political Science and History with a focus on Middle East and Africa. Her main areas of interest lie in post-conflict development, particularly in areas of governance and law. She has travelled extensively, especially across the Middle East, to places including Iran, Iraq, the Palestinan territories and Syria and has also lived in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East. She has volunteered with NGOs in Pakistan and Ghana, helping to faciliate long term development in small communities. Her international experience has served as a basis for her critiques of mainstream international development theories and approaches. Outside her field of study, Sumaiya has a strong passion for the fine arts and philosophy.

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