The Epic Boom and Bust of the Ostrich Feather Market

by Kelly Jensen Kelly Jensen Digital Collections Specialist, California Academy of Sciences, gives one of five Shift Ignite talks earlier this year at the Shift Forum. A fascinating tale of tulip-mania (but with feathers!), this five-minute Ignite talk reminds us all what happens when social behaviors rapidly change. Kelly Jensen: Hi, I’m Kelly Jensen. I’m …

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Book Review: ‘Spy – Uncovering Craig Williamson’

Peter Vale, University of Johannesburg Book Review: Spy – Uncovering Craig Williamson by Jonathan Ancer; Jacana Media, Johannesburg, March 2017 One can judge a book’s bleakness by the photograph on its cover. The Mephistophelian figure holding a tea cup is Craig Williamson: police informant, Cold War spy and apartheid assassin. Prizewinning journalist Jonathan Ancer’s goal …

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Propaganda in Portugal’s colonies: lesson for today

Marissa J. Moorman, Indiana University, Bloomington “Revolt begins where the road ends.” This sums up the thoughts of a Portuguese general on the counterinsurgency strategy in the 1960s against nationalist movements in the country’s former African colonies of Angola, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique. When most other African countries had liberated themselves from Europe’s colonial yoke, …

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How livestock made its way to southern Africa

Karim Sadr, University of the Witwatersrand Much of South Africa has good grazing for livestock. And sheep, goats and cattle have played an important role in the history of the region’s diverse cultures. But how did these animals get here? For a long time scholars were convinced that the first livestock in southern Africa had …

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Can the ANC survive the end of South Africa’s heroic epoch?

Keith Gottschalk, University of the Western Cape South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) has gone through episodic crises in its century of existence. Right now, the media and commentariat are seized with debate about whether or not it is in a crisis and whether it is as serious as any other. The party has …

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