This presentation discusses the conceptualization and development of interactive cartographic platform In the Same Boats: Toward an Intellectual Cartography of the Afro-Atlantic. In the Same Boats is a work of multimodal scholarship designed to encourage the collaborative production of humanistic knowledge within scholarly communities. Comprising two interactive visualizations that trace the movements of seminal cultural actors from the Caribbean and wider Americas, Africa, and Europe within the twentieth century Afro-Atlantic world, the platform seeks to push back against the ways in which “Global South” intellectual production has been stubbornly balkanized in the academy, its limits and contours largely determined by imperial metropoles. The project charts the extent to which Caribbean, African, Latin American, European, and Afro-American intellectuals have had opportunities to be in both punctual and sustained conversation with one another: attending the same conferences, publishing in the same journals and presses, active in the same political groups, perhaps even elbow-to-elbow in the same Parisian cafés and on the same transatlantic crossings – literally and metaphorically in the same boats – as they circulate throughout the Americas, Africa, Europe, and beyond. Leveraging the affordances of digital technology to facilitate a literal retracing of hemispheric black studies, the project draws attention to multiple sites of potentially interconnected Afro-Atlantic theoretical and creative production. Easily accessible, visually impactful, and content-rich, the combination of these two visualizations proposes a generative resource for twenty-first century scholarship concerning the long-historical impact of Afro-Atlantic figures across a vast networked geo-cultural space.
Kaiama L. Glover is Associate Professor of French and Africana Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University. Having received a B.A. in French History and Literature and Afro-American Studies from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in French and Romance Philology from Columbia University, Professor Glover joined the Barnard College faculty in 2002. Her teaching and research interests include francophone literature, particularly that of Haiti and the French Antilles; colonialism and postcolonialism; and sub-Saharan francophone African cinema. She advises students in French, Africana Studies, Comparative Literature, and Human Rights. Her book, Haiti Unbound: A Spiralist Challenge to the Postcolonial Canon (Liverpool UP 2010), addresses the general issue of canon formation in the francophone Caribbean and the particular fate of the Haitian Spiralist authors vis-à-vis this canon. She has published articles in Public Culture, The French Review, French Forum, Small Axe, Research in African Literatures, The Journal of Postcolonial Writings, and The Journal of Haitian Studies, among others.