HSRC Seminar, 13 March 2012, AFRICA, CRADLE OF WRITING, Presented by Jacques Habib Sy

AFRICA, CRADLE OF WRITING AND ITS IMPERILED MANUSCRIPT TREASURES

Presented by Jacques Habib Sy, Ph.D, Coordinator Africa Codicology Institute

Venues in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town (Videoconferencing facilities: see below)
Date: Tuesday 13 March 2012
Time: 12:15 for 12:30 to 14:00

African scholars across various branches of knowledge have undertaken to challenge the myth that Africa never produced writing systems worthy of attention and that it has rather produced an oral civilization. Using a paradigm based on factual observation and analysis they hold that:

  1. Africa invented writing in ancient Black Pharaonic Egypt as evidenced by findings predating (300 years) the Babylonian clay writing system;
  2. A radioscopy of existing thousands manuscripts collections (7th-19th century) throughout Africa from Ethiopia to Timbuktu, Mali and from South Africa to the Maghreb exist in abundance but are in grave danger of being destroyed and lost forever if urgent action is not taken to preserve them;
  3. Africa’s archives should be part of a multi-layered strategy integrating them into existing educational systems and content-analyzing them as part of a new body of codicological knowledge and income generating activities.

J. Habib Sy holds a Ph.D in Communications Arts and Sciences from Howard University, Washington, D.C. and a M.A. in Mass Communications and Information Sciences from the Sorbonne, Paris II. He is Professor of Communication at the School of Informations Sciences, University of Dakar, Senegal. He held various senior and executive positions in regional and international organizations prior to teaching in several African and U.S. universities. He is presently Director of Aid Transparency, a regional African NGO specialized in transformational research. Dr. Sy’s work is focused on governance and social movements as well as the history of writing and manuscripts preservation in Africa. He is the author of several books and articles.

Kindly RSVP by 9 March 2012

Cape Town : HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, or JWitten@hsrc.ac.za
Durban : First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or RKhan@hsrc.ac.za
Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: acgrossberg@hsrc.ac.za

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