Daily Archives: July 28, 2020

Teaching African History and Cultures Across the K-12 Curriculum | Edutopia

Africa is much more than pyramids, slavery, and colonialism, and incorporating deeper study of the continent has many benefits for students.

By Elsa Wiehe
July 23, 2020

“We do teach about Africa—our school covers units on ancient Egypt, slavery, and colonialism” is a notion often heard in curriculum discussions in American schools. While significant, these topics are a minuscule drop of water in a vast sea of knowledge about Africa.

As Dr. Jonathan Weaver eloquently states, “The only dark part of Africa is our lack of knowledge about it.” To prioritize global education and antiracist practices, here are four strategies to expand the curricular range across grade levels.

Teach About Africa’s Immensity

Africa is immense in all ways. Modern Africa comprises 54 countries, each with its own political history, cultural influences, and social intricacies. There are vast nations like Algeria and small island-states like Seychelles. Astoundingly, Africa counts more than 1,000 ethnic groups, who speak more than 2,000 languages (a number that soars to 3,000 if it includes dialectical varieties). We can identify at least 85 precolonial kingdoms.

Whether you’re just starting to teach about Africa or have experience doing so, adopting a stance of learning about this immense continent with students can be useful. A good place to start is with geography, making use of maps to build students’ geo-literacy to understand the relationships between representation, size, scale, and human diversity. Ask the question, “How big is Africa?” and use this How Big Is Africa? curriculum to help students learn about how mapping projections have reduced the continent’s size.

Identify Africa as the Heart of Humanity

Historically, Africa was considered by outsiders to be the periphery of the world. And the list of stereotypes held about the continent, rooted in long-standing racism, is long. Our students’ cognitive schema are influenced by these powerful messages that still operate in society. One way to provide a counter-narrative that humanizes and celebrates the continent and its people is to emphasize that Africa is the evolutionary birthplace of humanity.

In addition, the continent showcases pioneering advances in civilizations, such as the mastery of iron technology, and is critically significant to world history. Teach the ways that African history intersects with the histories of other continents. Precolonial African history is especially important because African countries’ modern borders were established by colonial powers, a fact that hides the (much longer) history of great societies and kingdoms that have spanned the continent.

One easy strategy to nurture your students’ reverence for African history is to study UNESCO World Heritage sites that help contextualize Africa’s global significance. Examine the Burkina Faso iron-smelting ovens that date back to the eighth century BCE to teach the mastery and intensification of iron smelting in Africa, or study monuments like the monolithic churches of Lalibela.

Connect to Africa Across Disciplines

The geographical, cultural, linguistic, and political diversities of the continent constitute an invitation to interdisciplinarity. Elementary social studies frameworks can draw on African contexts to study geography, migration, interactions between humans and their environments, the circulation of ideas and culture, and political geography and modern countries’ borders. Many teachers are now exploring layered interactive maps to develop inquiry about the intersection of places and culture.

French and English literature teachers can internationalize their scope of texts and choose from a solid corpus of excellent anglophone and francophone African novels, including Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Les Bouts de Bois de Dieu by Ousmane Sembène. Africa is easily integrated with math and science when educators teach about the history of the development of scientific and mathematical ideas that have African roots. Science teachers can connect with world history content when they teach about the emergence of environmental conservation as a reaction to the effects of colonial exploitation of land and resources.

Resources from African Studies Centers across the United States, many of which are National Resource Centers (NRCs), can help make the work of integrating Africa into the disciplines easier. At NRCs, outreach staff support instructional design plans with specific resources.

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Prosser Gifford (1929 ∼ 2020) | Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Homes


Prosser Gifford, 1929-2020

Prosser Gifford of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, scholar, author, poet and institutional administrator, died peacefully in his home on July 5, 2020 with family by his side. He was 91.

Prosser led a self-described “life of learning,” first through prodigious study, followed by more than thirty years in higher education administration that included researching and publishing five books and countless articles, teaching college and graduate students at Amherst College, Swarthmore, and Yale University and directing several think tanks and centers of scholarship and inquiry in Washington, DC and Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

He was born May 16, 1929 in New York City, the only child of Barbara Prosser and John Archer Gifford. He was the grandson of Constance Barber Prosser and Seward Prosser, Chairman of Bankers Trust Co. and philanthropist who came to Falmouth in 1909, and Helen Conyngham Gifford and Charles Alling Gifford, of Newark, New Jersey, an architect who designed the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire and numerous armories and courthouses on the East coast extant today.

Prosser earned degrees from Yale University in 1951; Merton College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 1953; Harvard Law School in 1956; and a PhD in History from Yale University in 1964. Lured by Calvin Plimpton, President of Amherst College, he became the first Dean of the Faculty (Provost) at Amherst in 1967. He and Plimpton led Amherst through the tumultuous years of student protests and demonstrations opposing the Vietnam War in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Prosser wrote that his proudest achievements during his twelve-year tenure as Dean were leading the commission that resulted in Amherst College Trustees admitting women in 1974 and increasing the number of women faculty members from one when he arrived to twenty-six when he left in 1979.

Throughout his life, Prosser served on the Board of Trustees of numerous schools, colleges, nonprofit research, poetry and academic institutions and was President of the Merton College Corporation, Oxford.

He thrived on rigorous intellectual debate and an overarching theme in his life was bringing together people of diverse minds and experiences to share ideas and challenge each other in civil discourse. After leaving Amherst College he became Deputy Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, bringing together hundreds of scholars from around the world to collaborate on research, writing, and discussion of national and world issues. The Wilson Quarterly described Prosser as an “exemplar of the strenuous life.” He was tireless in his pursuit of knowledge, reading three to four books a week and amassing a library of over 9,000 volumes in his home, organized using his proprietary Gifford Decimal System.

After eight years at the Wilson Center, Prosser became Director of Scholarly Programs at the Library of Congress, a position created for him which he held for fifteen years until his retirement in 2005. He was the first director of the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress that brought together some of the world’s eminent thinkers and supervised the selection of the $1 million Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the humanities and social sciences.

In 2005, Prosser and his wife Deedee moved from Washington, DC to Woods Hole, MA, where he spent his time writing a book and serving on the board or volunteering with numerous local institutions. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Marine Biological Laboratory for thirteen years, was an Honorary Member of the Corporation of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), President of the Woods Hole Public Library and served in varying capacities for a dozen other organizations including the Falmouth Chorale, Falmouth Academy, Highfield Hall and the Church of the Messiah.

Since a young child, Prosser’s great passion was sailing. He met his wife Deedee in a sailing race in Woods Hole when he was 11 years old and she was 9. They were active members of the Ensign fleet in Quissett. Many claim Deedee was the better skipper. He crewed for the Bermuda Race half a dozen times and raced trans-Atlantic twice, once a hurricane-filled trial from New York to Spain. He captained his own boat the Windhover twenty-eight times between Woods Hole and Solomons Island, Maryland, a trip that became known as the “Annual Stress Test” for its unpredictable weather, mechanical mishaps and unsuspecting crew that thought they were joining a pleasure cruise up or down the East coast.

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Leopold Jaroslav Pospisil | The Ethnologist

Prof. PhDr. JUDr. Leopold Jaroslav Pospisil, Ph.D. DSc.

Leopold Jaroslav Pospisil is a well-known professor of comparative law, who has held an influential position at Yale University for more than two decades. Leopold Pospisil is one of the pioneers and founders of a type of field study in anthropology, called legal anthropology. He was born in Olomouc in April 26, 1923, in former Czechoslovakia. He studied law at Charles University in Prague and philosophy in West Germany. During the Second World War, he was devoted to farming to avoid forced labour in Nazi Germany, then he briefly acted as a lawyer. Pospisil emigrated to the United States in 1948, where he studied a master´s degree in sociology in Oregon. His doctorate of philosophy in anthropology was received at Yale University. Furthermore, he achieved the honour and title of ´candidate of science´ at the Faculty of Law of Charles University in Prague.

From 1956 to 1983 he worked at Yale University as a professor of anthropology and curator of the anthropology department of the Peabody Museum at the same time. In 1984 he was appointed as a member of the National Academy of Science. He used to work among others as a senior human rights adviser to US presidents and has lectured at over 50 universities around the world. After 1989, he returned to Czechoslovakia, to talk at Charles University or in his hometown Olomouc, when he received the Prize of the city of Olomouc for his lifelong work. In 1994, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Charles University.

Professor Leopold Pospisil based his own studies on his rigorous anthropology field research, for example the Hopi Indians in Arizona, Kapauku in Papua New Guinea, and Eskimos of Nunamiut in Alaska or the Tyrolean village in Obernberg in Austria. He is author of a number of anthropological studies. The most important include: Kapauku Papuan Economy, New Haven, 1963; Kapauku Papuans and Their Law, New Haven, 1958; The Kapauku Papuans of West New Guinea, New York, 1963; Anthropology of Law: A Comparative Theory, New Haven, 1971. Pospisil has contributed and deeply influenced the anthropological discipline with his research and by using so called ´legal pluralism´ as well as the nature of ownership and overall interest in economic anthropology.

Professor Pospisil, when did you become interested in anthropology?

I had had a number of friends during Masaryk´s Czechoslovakia before the Second World War. I had many German friends, because at that time Olomouc was a German city. However, some of these friends rapidly changed within one year after the arrival of Hitler and they became SS men. They were decent guys from decent families, sometimes even Catholics and these people would kill me just because I am Czech. Then I began to wonder, how this is possible? How is it possible that from the decent young people came such a beast? Well, through this it all began.

This was, therefore the first impetus for your studies?

Yes. I studied biology and medicine myself, but I wanted to proceed to social science, but it had not been available, so I ended up with medicine and I began by studying law at Charles University. This was in 1945, and in 1948 I received a doctorate in law. I was not fully satisfied with only studying law, so I also studied in Olomouc. Moreover, I even taught Chinese in Prague.


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CLIMATE FORCING | Our Future is Cold


Premiered Aug 28, 2019

Climate Change, Solar Forcing, Ice Age | From volcanic cooling born beneath our feet to the most seemingly distant reaches of both space time, we lay out Climate Forcing: the problems, path forward, and character of the finish line.

This Will Be a Key Topic at OTF2020 in Denver: https://ObservatoryProject.com

This is the 3rd film we released this month, here are the other two:

1) PLASMA COSMOLOGY: https://youtu.be/E4pWZGBpWP0

2) COSMIC DISASTER: https://youtu.be/B_zfMyzXqfI

3) CLIMATE FORCING: [This video]

Special Thanks to Dr. Brian Tinsley, Professor Emeritus, University of Texas at Dallas

Universe, Mars, Sunspots | S0 News Jul.28.2020


Published on Jul 28, 2020

Sun Makes Earthquakes Video: https://youtu.be/pKdezYCw3B0

Cosmic Timeline is Wrong Video: https://youtu.be/8zbRNSsWRlc

COSMIC DISASTER 2020 Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list…

Lots more on our channel page, just click our name!

Confirmed Covid-19 cases reaches more than 16 million – BBC News

BBC News

Published on Jul 28, 2020

Covid-19 is “easily the most severe” global health emergency the World Health Organization (WHO) has ever declared, the agency has said The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases reaches more than 16 million – up by a million in just four days Spain is fighting to save its tourism industry after the UK imposed a 14-day quarantine on arrivals from the country The UK Foreign Office is now advising against non-essential travel to any part of Spain, including its islands Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, has tested positive for coronavirus A vaccine trial in the US is entering its next phase of testing, with around 30,000 healthy volunteers getting two doses of the jab