Archiving Gaps: Reading Zimbabwe and The Internet

Reading Zimbabwe and The Internet

In this open seminar hosted by the University of Edinburgh’s CDCS Digital Social Science Cluster, Dr Tinashe Mushakavanhu (Digital Scholarship Postdoctoral Fellow at IASH) discusses critical meditations on archiving gaps.

Chaired by George Karekwaivanane, School of Social and Political Science.

First broadcast on Wednesday 21 April. 2021.


Despite the ubiquity and easy access the internet promises, it has also been deleterious of marginal cultures. The impulse to build was simply to develop a portal with information for books that were missing on the internet. This digital archive problematizes how a single country’s 60 year published history has been created, distorted, and engenders a space where a variety of critical lenses are interwoven to question research truths in relation to Zimbabwe.

In this talk, Mushakavanhu will offer critical meditations on archiving gaps. He will discuss the methodological, historical, and epistemological questions faced in building a digital database of Zimbabwean books published since 1956. Prior to that year, black writers and intellectuals could not publish books in Rhodesia except for pamphlets or contributions in newspapers and magazines. The database seeks to reconstruct a detailed history of books in Zimbabwe.


Tinashe Mushakavanhu is currently a Digital Scholarship Postdoctoral Fellow at IASH, University of Edinburgh. He is invested in literary and cultural studies of southern Africa. His current work manifests at the intersection of art, design and technology. It blurs creative and critical methods, and writing genres, in order to imaginatively reconfigure the strictures that conventionally separate the poetic and the theoretical.

Click here to view ‘Archiving Gaps: Reading Zimbabwe and The Internet’ directly on Media Hopper Create






Header Image: Screenshot from the open lecture