PROJECT: Mapping Consumers in the Black South African Press

Katie Carline (Michigan State University) has just launched a mapping project that visualizes “all the people whose names and addresses appear in testimonial advertisements and prize competitions in two black South African newspapers, Bantu World and Umlindi we Nyanga, between 1932 and 1937.” In a post on the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative blog, Carline explains why these testimonials are useful to scholars:

The 1930s were an important period in the history of South African newspaper, advertising, and consumer culture. This was the period when white-owned consumer products companies began sustained advertising campaigns in newspapers for black South African readers. Testimonial advertisements in these papers offer a window onto who the consumers of these products were, how they imagined themselves as consumers, and how advertisers wanted to represent the ideal, ā€œmodernā€ African consumer.

The project will be useful for readers with an interest in how geospatial technologies can be used to understand historical media culture.


dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation among Sarah Ames, Anna Kijas, Anna Flak, Alix Keener, Rosalind Bucy, Bethany Scott, Heather V. Hill, and Laura Morreale (Editors-at-large for the week), Sarah Melton (Editor for the week), and Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara, Roxanne Shirazi, and Patrick Williams (dh+lib Review Editors).