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    wmmkennedy
     

    Be a part of a locally-sourced history of military internment in the making!

    Hello fellow Sebastopudlians (and other West County folks)!

    So, I've been working with a friend and colleague from South Africa for several years now on a project about the historical origins of mass military internment--prison camps set up for captured Boer soldiers in South Africa during the Anglo Boer War (from 1899-1902). We've made a somewhat major discovery, and we'd like to invite our local communities to be part of it first!

    I was first intrigued by this story when, in 2013, I came across a letter in the archives of the old British Government in India, talking about secretly transporting Boer prisoners at night in railway cars from Bombay to a remote army station in the mountains. I've been following that thread for 3 years now, and, with the help of Chris Holdridge, we've uncovered that more than 30,000 Boer prisoners experiences the same fate--exile from South Africa and internment throughout the British Empire.

    So far, we've only really been able to work on this project in our spare time. We've made some good progress (I'm about to publish early findings from India in the top journal in our field), but we really need to start getting our hands on the surviving archives, while they're still around. For example, we've been informed that the last copy of the full Boer POW roll is now too brittle for public access!

    That's why we're turning to a new method of project support--crowdfunding! We've decided to start a project with Experiment.com, the academic version of kickstarter, to help us fund a bare-bones, we-have-to-get-there-while-we-still-can research budget. We invite you to learn more about our project, view our research plan, and even ask us questions about the work on our Experiment.com page here:

    https://experiment.com/projects/the-british-empire-and-boer-pows-uncovering-the-first-global-system-of-mass-military-internment

    This platform also helps us disseminate our findings quickly to people who are interested in the story as it breaks! And we do expect it to make a splash. Recently, other teams of historians have made similar kinds of discoveries, the most famous of which is Carolyn Elkins' and David Anderson's revelation of the Kenyan detention camps in the 1950s and 60s. You can learn more about the ongoing impact of their research in this riveting - but graphic - radiolab podcast.

    What can you do to help us, I hear you ask? Simple! All crowdfunding campaigns live and die based on how many people see them. So help us spread the word! To friends, family, neighbors, complete strangers on social media, or whomever else you can think of!

    Anyone who backs the project will be acknowledged on the project page, and in all of the publications that follow from it either on Experiment, or on Matt's or Chris's webpages at Academia.edu. Backers get exclusive access to our updates from the archives themselves, revelations that come looooong before any publication actually goes to print.

    So, TL;DR: help us make history by spreading the word about our Experiment.com crowdfunding project! And follow along as we go to the archives, to conferences, and, if we can afford, to the sites of internment themselves!
    Last edited by Barry; 04-19-2016 at 12:30 PM.
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