participants

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Grace Aneiza Ali, Guyanese-born, is an independent curator, faculty member in the Department of Art & Public Policy, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University and Founder/Editorial Director of OF NOTE—an award-winning online magazine on art and activism. Her essays on photography have been published in Harvard’s Transition Magazine, Nueva Luz Photography Journal, Small Axe, among others. She is an Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Fellow. Highlights of her curatorial work include Guest Curator for the 2014 Addis Ababa Foto Fest; Guest Curator of the Fall 2013 Nueva Luz Photographic Journal; and Host of the Visually Speaking photojournalism public program at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center. Ali is a World Economic Forum ‘Global Shaper’ and Fulbright Scholar. She holds an M.A. in Africana Studies from New York University and a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Samina Gul Ali is a PhD student in English at the University of Miami. Her research interests include Caribbean Studies, Asian American Studies, and the Digital Humanities. Her developing dissertation project investigates intersections between contemporary Latina and South Asian American communities in New York and Miami, particularly through feminist articulations of Islam.

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Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken is Assistant Professor of Caribbean and Postcolonial Literatures and Director of the MA in the Study of the Americas at the City College of New York (CUNY). She is author of: Spirit Possession in French, Haitian, and Vodou Thought: An Intellectual History (2015) and co-editor of Revisiting Marie Vieux Chauvet: Paradoxes of the Postcolonial Feminine (Yale UP) and The Haiti Exception: Anthropology and the Predicament of Narrative (Liverpool UP). Her current research looks at how the culture industry affects identity politics in major urban centers.

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Abby R. Broughton is a PhD student in the Department of French and Italian at Vanderbilt University, where she specializes in 20th century queer literature, body and identity politics, and the intersection of illustration and text. Abby is a co-author, translator, and editor of A Colony in Crisis: The Saint-Domingue Grain Shortage of 1789.

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Kelsey Corlett-Rivera is the Head of the Research Commons and Librarian for the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Maryland. Kelsey leverages emerging technologies to provide services for researchers on campus, and is the site designer and editor of A Colony in Crisis: The Saint-Domingue Grain Shortage of 1789.

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Marlene L. Daut is Associate Professor of African Diaspora Studies at the Carter G. Woodson Institute and the Program in American Studies at the University of Virginia. Her first book, Tropics of Haiti: Race and the Literary History of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1789-1865, was published in 2015 by the Liverpool University Press Series in the Study of International Slavery. Her second book, Baron de Vastey and the Origins of Black Atlantic Humanism, is forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan in 2017. She is currently a fellow at the National Humanities Center in Durham, NC, where she is working on her next project entitled, An Anthology of Haitian Revolutionary Fictions (Age of Slavery). For more information about the anthology please visit her website: http://haitianrevolutionaryfictions.com

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Nathan H. Dize is a PhD student in the Department of French and Italian at Vanderbilt University where he specializes in Haitian theater, poetry, and revolutionary poetics during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Nathan is the content curator, translator, and editor of A Colony in Crisis: The Saint-Domingue Grain Shortage of 1789.

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Laurent Dubois is Professor of Romance Studies and History and the Faculty Director of the Forum for Scholars & Publics at Duke University. He is the author of six books, including A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean (winner of four book prizes including the Frederick Douglass Prize), Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution, Haiti: The Aftershocks of History (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year) and most recently The Banjo: America’s African Instrument (published by Harvard University Press). He received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Humanities Fellowship, and a Mellon New Directions Fellowship to support this work on this project. His writings have appeared in The Nation, The New Yorker, the New York Times, Slate, Sports Illustrated, and The New Republic.

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Yasmine Espert is an Art History PhD Candidate at Columbia University studying film, diaspora and the Caribbean. She was the graduate fellow for the Digital Black Atlantic Project, a working group supported by the Center for the Study of Social Difference. Yasmine is the former Editor of sx visualities, a Small Axe Project; for their online platform she produced “MADE VULNERABLE,” a Curated Project about the sensorial experience of vulnerability. She recently contributed to the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) Museum Research Consortium and Self-Knowledge: A History, for Oxford Philosophical Concepts. Support for her work includes a Mellon Humanities International Travel Fellowship and a Fulbright research grant.

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Schuyler Esprit is a scholar of Caribbean literature and cultural studies, and postcolonial theory.  Dr. Esprit holds a PhD in English literature from University of Maryland – College Park. She is the Founding Director of Create Caribbean Inc., Research Institute at Dominica State College. The Research Institute supports students and scholars to use digital technologies for research, teaching and learning in areas of Caribbean development, especially its culture, history and heritage. She currently works as Dean of Academic Affairs at Dominica State College. Dr. Esprit has also taught and held professional positions at a number of universities in the United States. She is now completing her book entitled West Indian Readers: A Social History and its digital companion, both of which are historical explorations of reading culture in the Caribbean. She has also written the introduction to the 2016 Papillote Press edition of The Orchid House, the 1953 novel by Dominican writer Phyllis Shand Allfrey.

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Terri Francis (U Chicago 2004, English) researches independent, experimental, and nontheatrical forms of African American and Caribbean cinema. Currently, Professor Francis is a member of the Cinema and Media Studies faculty of The Media School at Indiana University.

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Tamika Galanis is a visual artist and native of Nassau, Bahamas whose work addresses diasporic-disconnect by examining issues of home, culture, identity, and performance. Emphasizing the importance of Afro-Bahamian cultural identity for cultural preservation, her work documents the aspects of Bahamian life, which are not curated for tourist consumption. Through multimedia storytelling, she employs photography, installation, new media, and film as documentary means to counter the widely held paradisiacal view of the Caribbean, the origins of which arose post-emancipation through a controlled, systematic visual framing and commodification of the tropics. Tamika earned a Master of Fine Arts in Documentary and Experimental Arts from Duke University.

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Marta Gierczyk is a third year PhD student at the University of Miami. Her research interests include contemporary multiethnic literature in the U.S., diaspora and immigration studies, globalization, and urban studies. Marta’s recent work explores post-urban tendencies in U.S. immigrant fiction since the 1990s in the context of subaltern political activism and issues of displacement and dispossession. She has recently presented “Unsettling the City: A Post-Urban Poetic in the Literature of New African Diaspora” at the 2015 ALA Symposium.

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Kearra Amaya Gopee is a Trinidadian photographer/visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work is whatever she wants it to be at any given point of time but mostly focuses on the nature of violence and erasure, especially that which is inflicted on the Caribbean by the global north. She attends New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, studying Photography and Imaging with a concentration in Africana Studies through the department of Social and Cultural Analysis.

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Stephanie L. Jackson is a PhD candidate of ethnomusicology and 2016-2017 Dissertation Fellow for the Committee of the Study of Religion at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her dissertation deals with the affective dimensions of music, spirit mediumship, and digital media in the performance of ecstatic goddess worship of the Anglophone and Francophone Caribbean. Based on ethnographic research conducted in Guyana, Trinidad, New York City, and virtual spaces, she analyzes the significance of intertextuality and music as sonic materiality in the production of racial, religious, diasporic realities.

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Jessica Marie Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and History at Johns Hopkins University. Her work has appeared in Slavery & Abolition, The Black Scholar, Meridians: Feminism, Race and Transnationalism, and Debates in the Digital Humanities. As a digital humanist, Johnson explores ways digital and social media disseminate and create historical narratives, in particular, comparative histories of slavery and people of African descent. Johnson has two works in progress. One is a history of free women of African descent laboring, living, and traveling between eighteenth-century Senegal, Saint-Domingue, and Gulf Coast Louisiana. The second, in collaboration with Mark Anthony Neal, is a compilation of work reading nineteenth-century black codes against present-day race coding and digital vernaculars of people of African descent. She tweets as @jmjafrx. Learn more about her research here.

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Amalia S. Levi is currently the project archivist of the Barbados Synagogue Restoration Project in Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies. She is an independent scholar and freelance cultural heritage consultant. Amalia holds a Master’s in Library Sciences and Archives, and an M.A. in History, with a focus in Jewish Studies, both from the University of Maryland, College Park. She also holds an M.A. in Museum Studies from Yıldız Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey; she completed her B.A. in Archaeology and History of Art in Athens, Greece. Amalia has worked in museums, developing exhibits, and conducting archival research. She was the founding curator of the Jewish Museum of Turkey in Istanbul. She is the co-editor of the book Identity Palimpsests: Archiving Ethnicity in the U.S. and Canada. Amalia is interested in augmenting historical scholarship on diasporas and minorities through linking and enriching dispersed collections and in the ways memory and identity are articulated and reified in archives, museums, and libraries, especially by the digital medium.

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Tzarina T. Prater is an Assistant Professor of English in Bentley University’s English and Media Studies Department where she teaches African American and Anglophone Caribbean literature as well as Gender and Cultural Studies. She has published articles on the work of Easton Lee, Kerry Young, Michelle Cliff, Patricia Powell, U.S. spectatorship of Hong Kong action cinema, digital platforms, and science fiction. She is currently working on a project for the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center’s CTRL+ALT: Culture Lab On Imagined Futures and her book project on Chinese Jamaican literary and cultural production entitled Labrish and Mooncakes: Chinese Jamaican Cultural Production and Nationalism.

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Roopika Risam is an assistant professor of English at Salem State University. Her research focuses on the untold stories and unheard voices in the digital cultural record, with an emphasis on postcolonial cultures and the African diaspora. Risam’s monograph, Postcolonial Digital Humanities: Theory, Praxis, and Pedagogy is under contract with Northwestern University Press and explores the productive intersections of postcolonial studies and digital humanities. Her digital projects include The Harlem Shadows Project, a critical edition of Claude McKay’s poetry, and Social Justice and the Digital Humanities, a resource for digital project design. Risam’s scholarship has recently appeared in Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016FirstMonday, Digital Humanities Quarterly, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, AdaInternational Journal of E-Politics, Left History, and South Asian Review. 

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Angel ‘Monxo’ López Santiago, is a visiting professor at Hunter College’s Africana, Puerto Rican and Latino Studies Department, CUNY. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from CUNY’s Graduate Center, an MA in political science from Université Laval in Québec, Canada, and a BA in political science from the Universidad de Puerto Rico. He is also a GIS/Mapping and cartographic practitioner with over 10 years of professional and teaching experience. He resides in the South Bronx in New York City. His current research centers on digital mapping and historical GIS within the field of Latino Studies.

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Laurie N. Taylor,  PhD, is the Digital Scholarship Librarian at the University of Florida. Her work focuses on leading development for socio-technical (e.g., people, policies, technologies, communities) aspects of scholarly cyberinfrastructure. She works heavily with the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) where she is the Digital Scholarship Director, Digital Humanities Working Group where she is a member of the Board for the DH Graduate Certificate, LibraryPress@UF where she is the Editor-in-Chief, and Research Computing with these and other activities geared towards enabling a culture of radical collaboration that values and supports diversity and inclusivity.

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Keja Valens is Professor of English at Salem State University.  Dr. Valens teaches and writes Caribbean literature, queer theory, and food writing.  Her recent works include Desire Between Women in Caribbean Literature (Palgrave-Macmillan, December 2013), the co-edited Barbara Johnson Reader (Duke UP, March 2014), and “Excruciating Improbability and the Transgender Jamaican” in Trans Studies: The Challenge to Hetero/Homo Normativities (Rutgers, 2016).  

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Alyssa Vann is a senior at Stanford University, studying Comparative Literature and Computer Science. She is currently writing an honors thesis comparing various conceptions of the ocean in the works of Nancy Morejón, Lorna Goodison, Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, and Edwidge Danticat. She is a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and a Hume Humanities Honors Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center.

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Laura Wagner, PhD, is the Radio Haiti project archivist at the Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University. She received her BA from Yale University and her PhD in anthropology from UNC Chapel Hill, where her research focused on the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. She is also a fiction and nonfiction writer.

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Lamia Zaibi, PhD, is a lecturer of English at the Higher School of Digital Economy, University of Manouba, Tunisia, where she teaches a number of courses including E-commerce and business writing and communication. She serves as coordinator of English at graduate and Master levels. She received her doctorate in Languages and Literature from the Faculty of Arts, Letters and Humanities of Manouba in 2010. Her research interests include Caribbean literature and Post-colonial studies and resistance. She is also interested in the fight against HIV/AIDS.