This session will include presentations on projects in three very different cultural and social contexts. The purpose of the session is to prompt and facilitate discussion around issues that arise in using digital tools and techniques to support and preserve cultural memory. Each project is nationally important in its own context, but each may also be seen as a
Knowing when and where people came from within Africa, and when and where they went in diaspora, is a major research question affecting the history of the continent and the broader Atlantic world. My proposed solution is to initiate the process of creating the framework to standardize Africa’s geo-political history. Creating a broadly-accepted core
In the recent past, black people have created and utilized a variety of digital spaces and media to reconfigure the terms and terrain of debates and discussions on what it means to be human. How do we as scholars, educators, librarians and archivists use specific cases and experiences to teach habits of critical thought and
African American History, Culture and Digital Humanities (AADHum) was awarded to the College of Arts and Humanities (ARHU) and is being co-directed by MITH and the Arts and Humanities Center for Synergy (Center for Synergy). The project was funded by a $1.25 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for research, education and training at the intersections of digital humanities and African American studies, and will help to prepare a diverse community of scholars and students whose work will both broaden the reach of the digital humanities in African American history and cultural studies, and enrich humanities research with new methods, archives and tools.
This was a project of Spring 2011 MITH Winnemore Digital Dissertation Fellow Maria Velazquez. Her dissertation, "Electronic Skin: Community Building and Virtual Embodiment" investigated the creative processes through which citizens are made, with particular attention to the role that technologies like blogging, virtual reality, and electronic activism foster the use of “imaginative embodiment” in creating stories of citizenship, selfhood, and action.
Digital Diasporas was the first conference of its kind to bring together to discuss on-going projects and also debate the theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical issues raised by the intersection of the fields of Digital Humanities and African American/African Diaspora Studies.
The goal of Soweto '76 is to provide users with virtual access to the history of Soweto, a Black township outside Johannesburg, so that they may experience a significant period in South Africa's history. Using existing oral histories, testimonies, photographs, video footage, material objects, and sound recordings in the collections of the Hector Pieterson Memorial & Museum, the work seeks to redress the existing portrayal of the lives of township residents in the mainstream or "official" historical record.
Concerned, thematically, with postcolonial cultural formations, and in particular the experience of the African Diaspora, the Saraka and Nation project traces connections between cultures of Africans in the Americas and sites of memory in Africa.
This was a 2002 Faculty Fellowship project of Professor Carolina Robertson from the Ethnomusicology Department. Based on the core premise that creativity is not necessarily a state of grace rooted in innate talent or skill, a series of seminars were offered through the University's 'Teachers as Scholars' program, in which teacher participants explored their own life narratives as doorways to creativity against a backdrop of parallel stories from other cultures. Dr. Robertson worked with a MITH programmer to develop an interactive website with malleable texts, sounds and images as the dynamic outcome of this process.