From March to early October 2016, Florence Bernault conducted a series of interviews with Jan Vansina at his home, setting up meetings almost every week while Jan was recovering from chemotherapy and enjoying a remission of his illness. After some thinking, Jan and Florence chose to use English, with the understanding that the interviews would later be transcribed and subtitled in French. Florence proposed that the interviews mix a chronological and thematic order, focusing on Jan’s scholarly work. The conversations would give Jan an opportunity to reflect on his past works from the present context, on African history, on colleagues and students, and also to imagine the future of the field. Some interviews focus on a particular book, others on Jan’s academic activities in Madison and elsewhere. Jan watched the entire collection of interviews after if was completed, and was very happy with the project.
Children of Woot. March 20, 2016 (22:33).