New AfrTeach Editor

Alix Heintzman's picture

Hello AfrTeach community,

I was just approved to be one of the new network editors, and I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and some of my goals, and to open a discussion about what kinds of projects would be most beneficial to AfrTeach subscribers.

I'm an adjunct instructor at Eastern Kentucky University in the African/African American Studies program. I've been working on improving the digital resources for our program, including a free student library for African-authored fiction, and I teach introductory survey courses in African and African American history. I've been a fairly passive subscriber to H-Net since my grad student days at the University of Vermont, and I'm excited to take a more active role.

My own hopes for Afrteach are fairly straightforward: I’d like to help create a more active, functional online community here, and curate a set of pedagogical resources for teaching about Africa. So, in addition to more administrative tasks like updating the site banner and reviving the editorial email, I’m interested in possible projects like:

  • A syllabus collection. Making a useable, in-depth syllabus collection is one of the things I’m most interested in establishing. H-Urban’s teaching center seems like a phenomenal model, and I also like the model at work in H-German, of holding syllabus “contests” to add to their collection.
  • An assignment collection. While some syllabi include detailed descriptions of assignments, I would be interested in collecting individual assignments that have been especially effective for instructors in African history. If participants would be interested in annotating those assignments, it might be even more useful. This libguide for information literacy might be a good example.
  • Textbook reviews. Looking further into the future, I also imagine collecting past reviews of African history textbooks—and soliciting new reviews—could be a useful resource for instructors designing or revisiting their classes.

But much more importantly, I’d like to have a conversation about what kinds of projects and resources would be most useful to the community. If you have any opinions, insight, experience, or ideas you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them. And—in an unsubtle attempt to recruit more editors—if anyone is interested in contributing in a more active role, the more the merrier!

I look forward to getting to know the community,

Alix Heintzman