Professor Albert Grundlingh (Stellenbosch University, South Africa) will be giving talks at the University of Brighton (3 February) and the University of Kent (4 February) exploring the ways in which the 1917 sinking of the SS Mendi, carrying a detachment of the South African Native Labour Contingent, has been remembered.
Wednesday 3rd February 2016, 5pm
M2 Boardroom, University of Brighton.
Hosted with the Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories. Further information and booking link available here.
Thursday 4th February 2016, 6.30pm
Grimond Lecture Theatre 1, University of Kent. Hosted with the School of History. Further information and booking link available here.
The SS Mendi, carrying the last detachment of the South African Native Labour Contingent to work as non-combatants in France during the First World War, sank just off the Isle of Wight on 21 February 1917. The death toll was high: of the 882 men on board 615 died and 267 were saved. The grim details are easily verifiable; the subsequent after-life of the incident is more complex. These talks will address the way in which the Mendi disaster has been recalled over decades and contextualised in terms of public memory at different historical junctures, and how a heroic narrative was constructed with certain elements more pertinently being foregrounded recently to serve a useful purpose in the present.
Professor Albert Grundlingh is Head of the History Department at Stellenbosch University. He is the author of and co-author of several books and numerous articles and chapters in books and leading international journals. He specialises in social and cultural history with a particular interest in war and society. His major works deal with the Boer collaborators during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 and Black South African troops during the First World War.
Both events are free and open to all but booking is required.
Please contact email@example.com with any enquiries.
Download a flyer here.