PhD student profile: Anthea Josias

Anthea Josias

UMSI doctoral student Anthea Josias focuses on political transformation in post-1990 South Africa.

Anthea Josias is a PhD candidate at UMSI. She has honors and master’s degrees in library and information science and as an undergraduate majored in English and psychology at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa.

Under the guidance of Professor Margaret Hedstrom, Anthea is working on a dissertation that is framed by the context of political transformation in post-1990 South Africa. Her research looks at how post-apartheid institutions are recording and distributing memories of South Africa’s apartheid past through mediated processes of memory production and transmission. Using three cases as an analytical lens, her research draws attention to

  • participatory approaches to social memory development that narrow and sometimes erase the boundaries between memory sources, memory producers, and memory consumers;
  • methodologies that are being used towards more inclusive social memory outcomes; and
  • an approach to archives that brings to the foreground the social, political and cultural experiences of individuals and communities that have historically been underserved or ignored by archives.

This research draws on her strong commitments and 15-year work record in the archives and heritage sector in South Africa that included developing and managing the archival collections of the Robben Island Museum and serving as a senior project officer of the Centre of Memory and Commemoration project at the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

She has made professional presentations to forums such as the Society of American Archivists, the Norwegian Archives Library and Museum Authority and has served as a panelist for a colloquium on “Memory for Justice” hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 2005. Her work has recently been published in Archival Science.

Anthea’s work as a graduate staff assistant/ graduate student instructor on the Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded “Engaging Communities” project with Professor Elizabeth Yakel extended over two years. During this time she coordinated placements for around 47 internships in digital preservation and taught a digital preservation practical workshop.

Anthea looks forward to using her UMSI training towards researching and participating in social memory and archiving processes that expand ways of thinking about and practicing archives and create enabling, affirming, and representative environments.

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