Call for Interdisciplinary Research Proposals: Archiving, Memory & Method from the Global South


The College of Humanities and Social Sciences has received funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the project entitled: “Archiving, Memory and Method from the Global South.” The project seeks to centre global debates in archiving, memory and method in Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences research at Makerere University. It is a capacity building project that will fund research by Makerere University scholars (both faculty and students) to study formal and non-formal archival repository institutions as well as community archiving. Drawing on archives located in specific communities or institutions, the funded researchers will examine the role of these repositories in public life. Community engagement will be key in the project. The research outputs are expected to promote dialogue over the decolonization of knowledge in the Global South through revision of curricula, pedagogy and methodology in archival studies and research.

Therefore, the College calls for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research proposals from all disciplines in the Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences on any of the three themes listed below:

1.Archives and Communities: Memory, Representation, Time

The theme will focus on methods and ethics in community archiving of material artifacts, documents, and non-material heritage such as oral traditions, music and dance. The intention of this theme is to analyze how collective memories are stored and transmitted, including how community archives serve as means of representing communities’ interests and redressing or amplifying inequality.

2. Archives and Institutions: Power, Justice, Labor

This theme will focus on the status of public and private institutional archives in Uganda, paying particular attention to how archives are situated within national, regional, and global power relations. The theme will emphasize debates related to preserving, decolonizing and reading archives of colonial and postcolonial institutions.

3. Archives and Academia: Knowledge from the Global South

The theme will study the relationship between methodological approaches to archival research in the Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences and conceptual debates over the status of archives in the Global South. It seeks to determine how Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences scholars can be best positioned to benefit from growing archival infrastructures and how scholars can promote the equitability and decolonization of these infrastructures in Uganda and across the world, including within Makerere.

Research Team Formation

The core objective of this project is to convene a community of scholars with a shared intellectual interest in archiving, memory and method from the Global South. It will be structured as follows:

  1. There will be three teams: one team per research theme. Each team will include 5 (five) faculty members, 1 (one) PhD student and 3 (three) MA students. The teams will emerge from a three-tiered application process. The convening of the respective teams will be provisionally overseen by:
  1. Dr. Edgar Fred Nabutanyi - Theme I: Archives and Communities: Memory, Representation, Time.
  2. Dr. Charlotte Mafumbo - Theme II: Archives and Institutions: Power, Justice, Labor.
  3. Dr. Edgar Curtis Taylor - Theme III: Archives and Academia: Knowledge from the Global South.
  1. Research Teaming process

The intellectual agenda of the project will be led by Dr Josephine Ahikire as PI and Dr Julius Kikooma as Co-PI. Furthermore, the project will apply a three-tier process of selecting team members for each theme, and this process will involve:

  1. An invitation of eligible CHUSS scholars to submit:

a) a 200-word bio; and

b) a 3-page concept of their proposed individual research. The three-page concept note clearly delineate the background to the study, the statement of the problem, the objectives of the study, theoretical/conceptual framework of the study, justification/significance of the study and methodology to be employed in the study.

  1. Application submissions will be followed by a blind double peer-review process to select those that will have addressed the intellectual focus of the theme(s).
  2. Each thematic team leader will, then, convene a reading group or a symposium at which shortlisted and revised proposals will be discussed with a view of integrating them into a joint research proposal.
  3. Each thematic team leader will invite successful applicants to join the thematic team, and jointly refine and/or revise the joint research proposal.
  4. The process in (iii) and (iv) above will culminate into a joint application for each of the thematic teams, which should include:
  1. A cover page that spells out the project timeline and introduces the project team;
  2. A fact sheet that lists the team members; their qualifications, their departments, titles of their proposed projects, and their roles and responsibilities in the team;
  3. A 200-word academic biography of each of the team members that describes the work they have done, awards and grants they have received, outstanding publications and a synopsis of their career plans;
  4. An overall project 15-page team research proposal, which should outline the research focus, objectives, research questions, justification/significance, theoretical framework/conceptual framework, methodology and bibliography in Times New Roman, 12-point font and 1.5 line spacing;
  5. A two-page CV of each member of the team;
  6. Each proposal package should have the following attachments: i) Individual work plans, ii) Budgets, iii) Copies of academic certificates, iv) Recommendations from each team member’s Head of Department.
  1. A separate call for PhD and MA students, who are already enrolled for studies in the College to apply for research grants under a selected theme, will be advertised. The students will apply and be considered under specific research teams.

Project Activities       

Each project team will be expected to conduct archival research of a selected archive(s), engage with the politics of archiving, the histories of the selected archive(s) and analyze the wider role of the selected archive(s) in the communities and temporalities where they are situated.  The teams will also participate in anticipated project activities to establish a community of scholars committed to nurturing critical archival research and a culture of regular scholarly discourse as listed below:

  1. Quarterly Reading Groups for the Research Teams and interested Faculty in the College;
  2. Quarterly Symposia for the Research Teams and interested Faculty in the College;
  3. A National Conference in the second year of the project;
  4. An Academic Edited Book drawn from the research of the project teams and/or a special issue of Mawazo; and
  5. An International Conference in the third year of the project.

Research Outputs

Each researcher is expected to produce the following outputs:

  1. An article or chapter to be published in either an academic edited book or a special issue of Mawazo,
  2. At least one additional peer-reviewed publication,
  3. At least one form of public scholarship. This may include but is not limited to the production of archival catalogues, public performances, or related publications for the benefit of the archives and/or the surrounding community,
  4. A report and plan of how archiving will be incorporated into the Humanities curriculum.


  1. Applicants must be employees of Makerere University (based in CHUSS) on permanent terms with proven experience in research and publication with at least one article accepted for publication in the last 2 years. 
  2. Students should be duly registered for a PhD or an MA in a Humanities or Humanistic Social Sciences discipline at Makerere University.


The funding will cover costs related to baseline study, data collection and analysis, report writing, computing costs and consumables.

  1. Each researcher will receive a Research fund totaling US$ 28,750. This will be disbursed on the basis of individual progress as follows: US$ 10,250 in the first year, US$ 10,250 in the second year and US$ 8,250 in the third year.
  2. Each PhD student will receive Research funds as follows: US$5,200 the first year, US$ 5,200 in the second year and US$ 5,200 in the third year.
  3. Each MA student will receive Research funds as follows: USD$2,700 the first year and US$ 2,700 in the second year

Deadline for applications: November 23, 2021.

Applications should be submitted to: copied to:

For more details please contact: Dr Edgar Nabutanyi:

Note: A compilation of related books and articles is available here: 

Official Call attached below

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