Online Forum–Digital Black Atlantics

Slave Fort in The Gambia, photo taken by Tjeerd Wiersma on December 21, 2015 (Courtesy of Flickr)

Black Perspectivesthe award-winning blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), is pleased to announce the upcoming online forum on the theme Black Digital Atlantic.Organized by Rachel Anne Gillett, Assistant Professor in Cultural History at Utrecht University,  the series examines the ethics and practices involved in producing visualized intellectual networks of the Black Atlantic. It raises broader questions about the value of the digital humanities for black intellectual history, and the value of black intellectual history and critique for modes of digital analysis. The online forum begins on Monday, November 1st and concludes on Monday, November 8th. The roundtable will feature five essays from Annette Joseph-Gabriel, Hannah de Korte, Maiah Akkerman Letsch, Rachel Anne Gillett, and Roopika Risam.

During the online forum, Black Perspectives will publish new blog posts every day at 6:00AM EST. Please follow Black Perspectives (@BlkPerspectives) and AAIHS (@AAIHSon Twitter, like AAIHS on Facebook, or subscribe to our blog for updates. By subscribing to Black Perspectives, each new post will automatically be delivered to your inbox during the week of the roundtable.

About the Organizer

Rachel Anne Gillett: Prof. Gillett’s research focuses on race in France, on popular culture, and on the black Atlantic from a French perspective. She currently teaches cultural history at Utrecht University. She has brought together this forum which reflects her longterm engagement with Paul Gilroy’s work, her exposure to the strengths and limits of how methods in digital humanities are taught at the graduate level, and her commitment to co-creating research with her students and bringing their/our collaborative work out of the classroom and into public engagement. She tweets @redgillett.

About the Participants

Annette Joseph-Gabriel: Prof. Annette Joseph-Gabriel, is a scholar working at the intersection of French and Afro-diasporic culture, literature, and politics. She conducts research and teaches courses on race, gender, and citizenship in France, the Caribbean, and Africa. Her work centers the voices and experiences of Black women thinkers and activists and shows how their contributions can offer us new ways to think about contemporary cultural and political questions, including questions of digitisation and visibility in visualisation. Her visualisation of Eslanda Robeson’s travels intersects perfectly with Hanna de Korte’s visualisations of women and gender-differentials in de Korte’s black Atlantic visualisations. She tweets @AnnetteJosephG.

Hannah de Korte:Hannah de Korte is a Research Masters student in History at Utrecht University. She focuses on the field of environmental history, particularly on the history and development of environmental organizations and their campaigns. Nevertheless, she is very interested in a variety of topics, having written, for example, about missionary cartography, the history of leprosy care and frontier violence. She tweets @hannahdekorte.

Maiah Akkerman Letsch: Maiah is a research masters student at Utrecht University. She is currently living in London, though she is originally from Wisconsin in the United States. Maiah focuses her research on the intersection between colonial history and the history of the body. She has most recently been working as a research assistant for the Database of Indigenous Slavery project based at Brown University alongside her studies at Utrecht. She tweets @MaiahAkkerman.

Roopika Risam: Prof. Risam’s research agenda focuses on intersections of postcolonial and African diaspora studies, humanities knowledge infrastructures, and digital humanities. Risam’s first monograph, New Digital Worlds: Postcolonial Digital Humanities in Theory, Praxis, and Pedagogy was published by Northwestern University Press in 2018. She is the co-editor of Intersectionality in Digital Humanities (Arc Humanities/Amsterdam University Press, 2019). Risam’s co-edited collection The Digital Black Atlantic for the Debates in the Digital Humanities series (University of Minnesota Press) is forthcoming in 2021. Her current book project, “Insurgent Academics: A Radical Account of Public Humanities,” traces a new history of public humanities through the emergence of ethnic studies. She tweets @RoopikaRisam.

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