Dissertation Research Funding: Mayibuye Archives, Cape Town

Dissertation Research Funding: Mayibuye Archives, Cape Town

From Rachel Murray

I'm raising funds for a research trip to Cape Town, South Africa to visit the Mayibuye Archives which will be integral to my doctoral dissertation on prison education, oppression, mass incarceration, and social change.

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Update #3

over 1 year ago

So it looks like this campaign is almost fully funded. That's awesome!

Please keep sharing this, as everything over the $3,000 goal will a.) actually be a part of the funds I need for this trip, as Fundly takes a cut (as all of these fundraising thingies do) and b.) excess will help me with research costs etc when I return home as well.

Seeing the support I'm getting from people has been amazing not just because it funds my research, but because it shows how much people care about the kind of work I'm doing.

I leave a week from today on January 30th, but the campaign will still be open until Fundly's end date (March 6th). Thank you again to my donors, and thank you to my supporters who have helped by sharing this campaign on their own pages. You're awesome!

More Info

The purpose of my research is aimed at learning about education in prisons, most especially learning environments created by incarcerated people themselves. We have already seen ample research that demonstrates how learning programs directly contribute to lowering recidivism rates in the United States, but there is less discussion of the role of education programs and learning environments that empower not just individual transformation but the creation of communities fighting for social change.

One of the most notable examples is in the history of anti-apartheid resistance at Robben Island in South Africa. There, political prisoners incarcerated for years formed what came to be called “Robben Island University”, where anyone interested in pursuing an education - whether or not it would result in a degree - could participate in community-run classes. Many memoirs from former political prisoners speak to the role this played in their ability to stay strong in the face of oppression and formulate the kind of just society they wanted to create once apartheid was defeated. This history offers invaluable insight into what kind of social change is possible in terms of building fair and equal societies when incarcerated people are not only invited to the conversation but are an integral part of beginning and shaping them. Unfortunately, the number of published memoirs is limited, even fewer that were actually written while the authors were incarcerated. As well, although writings and interviews with former prisoners do exist, public access is incredibly limited and little has been uploaded to internet archives. However, the Mayibuye Archives in Cape Town, South Africa, contain extensive archives available to students and academics upon request.

I have been granted access in order to further my research, and I will be traveling there from January 30th - February 26th. In addition to researching in the archives, I will be visiting Robben Island Museum as well as a number of other museums cataloging the history of colonialism and apartheid. The purpose of my trip is to learn as much as I can in the place where the social movement I am researching took place, where I will not only have access to resources that are not available at home but also be able to explore places and meet people who lived through the fight against apartheid. As an anthropologist, not participating in the actual society whose history I am researching greatly diminishes the importance and usefulness of this work.

I am seeking funding to support this research. Overall, my estimated research costs are $3,000. Outside funding will enable me to reserve financial aid and other funding sources for tuition, living expenses, and books and research supplies.

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Help Rachel raise $3,000 by making a donation.

Rachel Murray posted a new update:
over 1 year ago

Update #5

So it looks like this campaign is almost fully funded. That's awesome!

Please keep sharing this, as everything over the $3,000 goal will a.) actually be a part of the funds I need for this trip, as Fundly takes a cut (as all of these fundraising thingies do) and b.) excess will help me with research costs etc when I return home as well.

Seeing the support I'm getting from people has been amazing not just because it funds my research, but because it shows how much people care about the kind of work I'm doing.

I leave a week from today on January 30th, but the campaign will still be open until Fundly's end date (March 6th). Thank you again to my donors, and thank you to my supporters who have helped by sharing this campaign on their own pages. You're awesome!

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Rachel Murray posted a new update:
over 1 year ago

Update #2

Hi folks! Thanks to the generous support of donors and followers, through Fundly I've managed to raise enough to fully cover my Airbnb and car rental and then some, and with the help of matching donations my plane ticket is fully funded as well!

Now it's just a matter of paying for standard things like other research expenses, food, gas, etc. Every bit of support helps!

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Rachel Murray posted a new update:
over 1 year ago

Update #1

Hey everybody! Turns out a very generous donor has offered to match donations up to $1,000! Which basically means your donation is doubled! I appreciate the support so so much.

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