Institute Participants

denisse andrade (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) is a Phd candidate in Geography at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, and is pursuing a certificate in American Studies. As a Teaching Fellow at CUNY, she has taught courses  in Urban Studies and Globalization. denisse holds an MA in Media and Cultural Studies from the New School from Social Research and was a Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art.  Her dissertation focuses on the poetics and politics of land of the Black radical movement of the 1960s and 1970s. denisse’s broad interests include black geographies, the racial state, critical historiography, and the intersection between radical politics, aesthetics and performance studies.

Leah Barlow (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) is a William Fontaine Fellow of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her B.A. in English from Hampton University, where she held a UNCF/Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, and her M.A. in English Literature from Georgetown University. Her research interests include intellectual history, black feminist thought, and digital space.

profile_AshaBestAsha Best (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of American Studies at Rutgers University. She completed her Master’s in Pan African Studies at Syracuse University, writing a thesis on narratives of Caribbean (im)migrant life in the U.S. and the work of Edwidge Danticat. Her thesis is what prompted her to think about how (im)migrants narrate their lives from particular geographic and cultural locations.  Her interests and methodological bag of tricks have expanded and my current work deals more broadly with (im)migrant mobilities. She finds the framework of mobility useful in exploring movement, affect, performativity, notions of citizenship and the production of space. She is interested in mapping out sites where race and spatial im/mobility are mutually constitutive, particularly for Black and Brown immigrants in the U.S.  Her research interests likely stem from her itinerant lifestyle, having lived in Brooklyn, on the outskirts of Boston, Concord, New Hampshire, Atlanta (for just a moment) and Los Angeles. Outside of bookish things she enjoys exploring cities (mostly on foot and transit) and drinking tea. She tweets irregularly and gets lost on Tumblr often.  Her work can be found in The Feminist Wire and Darkmatter.

profile_DeniseBurgherDenise Burgher (Summer ’16) is a Ph.D. student in the English Department. Denise is interested in nineteenth-century literature written by women of the African diaspora but particularly the texts that come out of the Afro-Protestant world. She is a co-leader of the exhibits team and chair of the project’s historic church out-reach committee.

Clayton Colmon (Summer ’16) is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of English at the University of Delaware. His research is located at the intersection of Utopian Studies, African American Studies, and Science Fiction Studies; it examines how writers and musicians of color use technology—both real and imagined—to reposition themselves in social discourse. Clay is primarily concerned with contemporary texts, but he sees the Colored Conventions Project as foregrounding the lived histories of African-American activists and writers whose individual difficulties with racism, sexism, and slavery have inspired present struggles for equality and freedom. As a chair of the grants committee, he is always on the lookout for future funding opportunities. landscape.
profile_LissetteAcostaCornielLissette Acosta Corniel (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) is a Research Associate at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute at the City College of New York working on the pioneering project, “First Blacks in the Americas,” an academic digital showground dedicated to the study of the presence and contributions of the first black Africans to set foot in the New World. The “First Blacks…” website will be a Spanish and English platform for teaching and learning composed  of digitized, translated, and transcribed colonial documents otherwise unavailable except to Spanish paleography experts. She is also the co-curator of the traveling exhibit, “Sixteenth Century La Española: Glimpses of the First Blacks in the Early Colonial Americas.”  Her research focus is twofold. First, she examines women’s resistance strategies in colonial Hispaniola between 1500 and 1794 and analyzes the struggle and survival tactics applied by women during the time of an emerging civilization within a patriarchal society.  Second, she studies the buried historiography pertaining to the arrival of free and enslaved Africans in early Santo Domingo.  The Transatlantic Slave Trade and New World slavery, as conventionally understood, expanded almost immediately—after being institutionalized by the Spanish Crown in 1518—playing a major role in the formation of colonial society. Yet, the phenomenon has not been adequately historicized from its locus of emergence, namely the city of Santo Domingo in the island of Hispaniola. She has published on both topics.
profile_ChrylNECorbinChryl N.E. Corbin (Summer ’16) is a doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley in the department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management within the division of Society & Environment and holds a seat on the City of Oakland Park and Recreation Advisory Commission. Corbin’s research examines the relationships between society and nature within the built environment. As an urban environmentalist and political ecologist her work focuses on how environmental policies and practices in cities impact low-income communities and communities of color and their access to public green spaces. Corbin has been investigating the rise of the Green City in Oakland, CA while seeking to understand how the relationship between race and class, residential patterns, and access to green space have changed from 1960 prior to the Civil Rights Acts to 2016 after its adoption of environmental policies which established Oakland as a green city. She uses media as a tool of investigation to understand how visual media represents and influences environmental thought and spatial understandings within the urban landscape.
profile_DesireeDightonDesiree Dighton (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) is a PhD student in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media at North Carolina State University. Before enrolling at NCSU, she was an assistant professor of Humanities at Shaw University, the South’s oldest Historically Black College and University. She has presented on using open­source tools for community and active archive building at digital humanities conferences and continues to focus her research and scholarship on critical race theory and rhetorics of space, social media, and the public sphere. Specifically, her work looks at how race and identity are performed in physical and virtual spaces, such as at the intersecting landscapes of the city, college campuses, and social media platforms.
At the Space & Place Institute, she intends to explore GIS technologies to visualize the Twitter and Instagram data collections, as well as find, analyze, and layer demographic data about Shaw University’s surroundings at different time periods, such as the Jim Crow era of 1940­50s, White Flight/Urban Renewal 1961­1980, and the present. By overlaying quantitative data with the students’ and residents’ attitudes about Shaw and its surroundings, represented in their tweets and Instagram photos, she hopes this methodology and resulting project will provide a more culturally complete picture of Raleigh’s changes and tell a more complex story of “growth” in this new era of urban renewal.
profile_WalterDGreasonWalter D. Greason, Ph.D.(Summer ’16 & Spring ’17), is the founder of the International Center for Metropolitan Growth, a company dedicated to attracting global investment to North America. He is also an economic historian at Monmouth University with a joint appointment in the Department of History and Anthropology and the Department of Business Management and Decision Sciences. His book, Suburban Erasure, won the prestigious Author Prize for Non-Fiction from the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance in 2014. His newest work, The American Economy, examines changes in agriculture, manufacturing, and services since 1750. Dr. Greason currently serves as the Treasurer for the Society for American City and Regional Planning History. In 2016, the Asbury Park Press recognized him as ‘An Agent of Change’ whose work in entrepreneurship, historical research, and community activism earned national recognition.”
Ethel Hazard (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) is a cultural anthropologist trained in historical and ethnographic research at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Transnational Networks and Nation-Building, examined the political histories of African American and Cubans of African descent from eastern Cuba. Dr. Hazard, completed a master’s degree in anthropology at the Johns Hopkins University, that resulted in the article publication, Mapping Histories, Cultures, and Economic Development, addressing the politics of land reform policies in the Colómbian Caribbean. The Long, Gone Place, of Los Chinchales, completed for this seminar, examines gendered, racial and African-descended place-making in three, southern, fluvial, port cities, Baltimore, Maryland, Louisville, Kentucky, and New Orleans, Louisiana, from 1868-1899. Chinchales, often described, portrayed and written about, as “male-only” spaces, were also, small, family-owned, hand-rolled, cigar manufacturing companies, reliant upon “free-colored,” tobacco-producers in rural hinterlands. Chinchales are the unifying spatial and social optic, for a project that offers a view into a regional history of interaction among African descended populations, while also, contributing to gaps in women’s history, regarding the gendered and racial dimension of labor in an emergent, international, tobacco, manufacturing industry. In 2015, Hazard, co-wrote with Dr. Michael Simeone, an article about voice-activated technologies and human speech for FutureTense, a Slate online journal. Hacking the Global Digital Divide: Deliberate Inclusion a Solution, co-produced with April Land, is a digitally curated project, accessible on Learnist. She currently teaches African American history survey at Vincennes University at Fort Benning, Georgia.
profile_AmeliaHintzenAmelia Hintzen (Summer ’16) recently received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Miami. Her dissertation examines the development of Haitian-Dominican communities on Dominican sugar plantations during the twentieth century through the lens of everyday spatial politics and combines archival, ethnographic, and oral-historical research. Her work has been published in the NACLA Report on the Americas, the Journal of Haitian Studies, and the New West Indian Guide. She has also published in the Dominican Republic about the issues facing Dominicans of Haitian descent. In addition to her research, she has worked with Haitian-Dominican advocacy organizations to help them incorporate historical information and material into their work. Documents from her research have been submitted as evidence before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, used in print advocacy campaigns, and discussed on Dominican news programs.
profile_JustinHosbeyJustin Hosbey (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) is a doctoral candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Florida. He is currently working on his dissertation which is tentatively titled, “Consumption and Conviviality: Charter Schools and the Delectability of Black Death in Post-Katrina New Orleans.” This dissertation is an interdisciplinary ethnographic project that examines Black social life in New Orleans, Louisiana by exploring the social consequences of the privatization of the city’s public school system. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation in 2005, the Louisiana State legislature fired 8,500 predominantly Black New Orleans educators and administrators. The state then ordered the conversion of all New Orleans public schools into privately managed charter schools. Justin’s dissertation uses life history interviews, participant observation, historical archival research, and spatial analysis to understand the intergenerational educational experiences of Black families living in the Gentilly and 7th Ward neighborhoods of New Orleans. He argues that the privatization of public schools is one tactic of an anti-Black political-economic project that maintains its coherence through the dispossession and death of Black New Orleanians. His dissertation work has been supported by research grants from the Ford Foundation and National Science Foundation. Justin received his B.A. in Anthropology from Georgia State University in 2008 and his M.A. in Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida in 2011.

profile_MaryaMcQuirterMarya McQuirter (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) is a former historian at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC), where she researched and wrote for the museum’s digital platforms.

Marya recently served as digital curator of Race & Ethnicity in Advertising, America: 1890 to Today, a digital humanities project organized by the Advertising Educational Foundation. The site will have the largest collection of ads featuring African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino/a Americans and Native Americans.

Marya has a PhD in history from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation, Claiming the City: African Americans, Urbanization and Leisure, 1902-1957, is a spatial analysis of race, gender and sexuality in Washington, DC in the era before Chocolate City. She has taught classes in public history and urban history at American University, George Washington University and the University of Michigan.

Her published works include a volume in the Young Oxford History of African Americans series and three essays in The Scurlock Studio and Black Washington: Picturing the Promise, the companion catalogue to NMAAHC’s first exhibit. She also authored the award-winning African American Heritage Trail, Washington, DC, the city’s first official black heritage trail.

In her current research, she is interested in mapping black cultural histories of technology. In particular, she looks at the ways in which women and men mobilized technologies—transportation, visual and communications—in the late 19th century to contest the boundaries of citizenship.

profile_ReynaldoOrtizMinayaReynaldo Ortiz-Minaya’s (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) main research focuses on world-historical structures of slave systems and structures of inequality with special attention in the Caribbean basin. His work examines the production of control and spaces of confinement in the Spanish Caribbean during the mid-18th to late-19th century. He also analyzes the institutional parallels and continuities between social-regulatory processes of enslavement and penal confinement and how such interplay is revealed within the built-environment of the Spanish empire. His forthcoming book manuscript is titled From Plantation to Prison: Visual Economies of Slave Resistance, Criminal Justice, and Penal Exile in the Spanish Caribbean, 1820-1886.  His other research and teaching interests include visual culture, and the social production of space; political economy of chattel slavery; the Iberian empire (1450-1898); Cuban and Haitian sugar production during the eighteenth and nineteenth century; slave resistances in the Americas; Lt. General Antonio Maceo and the Cuban War of Independence (1895–1898); the prison-military-industrial complex; finance capital and rising levels of violence in the world-economy; global flows of capital and “gang formation” within U.S. society; U.S. Latina/o studies.  Ortiz-Minaya received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Drew University, and his master’s degree and doctorate from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
profile_MusaWakhunguOlakaMusa Wakhungu Olaka (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) is a Librarian for African, Global and International Studies at University of Kansas. He previously worked as a librarian for the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Center at University of South Florida before becoming the Assistant Library Director & Head of Information Services at Southeast Missouri State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Information Science and Learning Technologies from University of Missouri and previously worked as a librarian and as a teacher in Kenya before proceeding to Rwanda where he worked for 6 years. He has also closely worked with refugees from Africa who have been resettled in Missouri and in Tampa, FL. His research interests include: African Studies, Information Policy, Human information Behavior, Library and Information Science Education, and Genocide Studies.
profile_CaitlinPollockCaitlin Pollock (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) is the Digital Humanities librarian for the Center for Digital Scholarship at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis’s University Library. Pollock serves as the liaison librarian to the Department of Philosophy and the Programs of Africana Studies and Classical Studies . She earned a B.A. in American Culture from Vassar College in 2006, a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute in 2011, and a M.A. in Digital Humanities from Loyola University Chicago in 2014. She has worked with institutional repositories, developing metadata as well as outreach to faculty members to encourage and facilitate use of the repository. Pollock’s research interests include the role of libraries and librarians in digital humanities research and projects, library history, digital humanities pedagogy, 19th century African American female activists, and the intersection of African American women and institutions of higher education.
profile_DavidPontonIIIDavid Ponton, III’s (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) interest in the racialization of space and the criminalization of race were perhaps unavoidable. First educated in the highly segregated, deeply impoverished, crime-weary city of Trenton, New Jersey, David completed his undergraduate work at Princeton University before teaching high school history at a remarkably racially and economically integrated “urban-rim” school just outside of his hometown. Intrigued (and somewhat confounded) by the markedly different experiences he had learning and teaching in these very dissimilar institutions and environments, David enrolled as a PhD student at Rice University to study the criminalization of space through race. His dissertation, “Criminalizing Space,” explores these themes in the context of post-World War II Houston, Texas. Additionally, he is currently revising a theoretical article that examines race-making in twentieth and twenty-first century police encounters in the U.S. David is also affiliated with the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Rice, works as an editorial assistant at the Journal of Southern History, and is a scholar-in-residence at the African American Library at the Gregory School in Houston.
profile_AnthonyPratcherIIAnthony Pratcher II (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) is a Faculty Associate in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University and a Ph. D. Candidate in the History Department at the University of Pennsylvania. He teaches broadly on topics within American History and Africana Studies and has been published by Southern California Quarterly and Technology and Culture. His dissertation, Community Consumed: Sunbelt Capitalism, the Politics of Community Control, and the Financialization of Civic Life in Suburban America, focuses on the intersection of urban policy and everyday community practices in order to illustrate how the privatization of community institutions asphyxiated civic life within Maryvale, Arizona. In addition to his research on civic community, Anthony serves on several civic committees in his hometown of Glendale, Arizona. He expects to complete his Ph. D in May 2017.
Christopher Roberts (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) is a PhD student in the Department of Africology and African American Studies at Temple University. In addition to being a doctoral student, he is a poet and social justice worker in a myriad of Black community spaces. At Temple University, Christopher has taught a wide array of undergraduate courses ranging from African Civilization, Blacks in Mass Media, and Introduction to African American Studies. Roberts’ dissertation research explores the utility of the Afrocentric paradigm in constructing educational spaces of culturally epistemic healing from trauma for Africana people, specifically the trauma of miseducation and cultural genocide due to Eurocentricity. As a Digital Scholar Fellow at The Center for Humanities at Temple University (CHAT), he is currently highlight the spatial juxtaposition of what the author terms ancestral violence (monuments and spaces of colonial/white supremacist violence against Black people) and ancestral veneration (spaces of healing created by Black people in response to colonial/white supremacist violence). Roberts’ CHAT project; Geospatial Africana Discourses of Decolonizing Monuments and Memory: Mapping White Supremacist Ancestral Violence and Africana Ancestral Veneration from Baltimore to Charleston to Cape Town utilizes a web based interface to explore via mapping the (de)colonial relationship of Africana cultural memory and White supremacist cultural monuments in Baltimore, Maryland; Charleston, South Carolina; and Cape Town, South Africa.
profile_DariusScottDarius Scott (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) is a PhD student in geography at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His research focuses on the relationships between regional planning and African American community, culture, and livelihood in the U.S. South. His project engages with digital cartography and multimedia oral history platforms. His work has been supported by a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship and a Social Science Research Council Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship.
profile_FrederickStaidumFrederick Staidum (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) is Assistant Professor of English and Africana Studies with affiliations in Women’s and Gender Studies at Muhlenberg College.  He completed his Ph.D. and M.A. in African American Studies at Northwestern University under the direction of Michelle M. Wright.  He, also, holds a M.P.S. and B.A. Black/Africana Studies from Cornell and Dillard Universities.  Dr. Staidum’s work focuses on Atlantic literary and visual culture with an emphasis on the representational practices by which people and geographies are rendered aberrant and freakish.  He is completing a monograph, Locating New Orleans: Race, Sex, and Geographies of Difference in Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Imaginaries, which explores how the racial and sexual Other is projected onto New Orleans resulting in its designation as a “foreign” landscape within American and European print and performance culture.  He reveals how representations of the city not only translated the notions of nationalism, morality, and race but constructed those very discourses.  Dr. Staidum’s second project probes the role of race, victimhood, and affect within horror cinema, which takes an interdisciplinary approach by connecting this visual technology with the genre’s antecedents in gothic fiction.  Additionally, he has forthcoming contributions in Teaching the Harlem Renaissance, Encyclopedia of African American Culture, and a special issue of Sexualities (SEX).  In support of his work, Dr. Staidum has secured a Consortium for Faculty Diversity Fellowship, a Digital Mapping in the Humanities Grant, and an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/Muhlenberg Integrated Learning Abroad (MILA) Course Development Grant.
Cedric Tolliver (Summer ’16) is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Houston, where he teaches courses on African American literature and literary studies. His manuscript, Of Vagabonds and Fellow Travelers: African Diaspora Literary Culture and the Cultural Cold War, considers Anglophone and Francophone African diaspora intellectuals who refused to operate within the ideological enclosures erected by the superpowers during the Cold War, becoming intellectual vagabonds as disruptive and threatening as those masterless men who roamed the English countryside in the sixteenth-century. His scholarship has appeared in Arizona Quarterly, the Journal of Postcolonial Writing, and Safundi, as well as in the edited volume, Paris, Capital of the Black Atlantic.
profile_NicoleTurnerNicole Myers Turner (Summer ’16, Week One) obtained her doctorate in History with certificates in Africana Studies and College Level Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania where she also received the William T.V. Fontaine Fellowship. Longstanding interests in religion and power shaped at Haverford College and Union Theological Seminary where she earned a Master of Divinity, focus her research on the dynamic intersection between religion and politics in Virginia’s black communities during the post-emancipation period. Her book manuscript, tentatively titled, “Powering the Pulpit: The Politics of Black Religious Institutions in Post-Emancipation Virginia” explores how Virginia’s free and freedpeople used their churches, conventions and religious educational institutions to define political strategies, gender roles and community membership.  The study delves deeply into the limited but extant records of black religious institutions and incorporates GIS mapping techniques to visualize the church and political networks that supported black participation in electoral politics.  Through this local study, that incorporates examination of election data, church membership records, and religious networks she offers a social and political history of late-nineteenth century black religion.
She teaches courses that explore the intersections of race, gender and class in the African American experience.  Her other research and teaching interests include African American religious history and black transnational religious and political networks.  She is also interested in the growth and potential of digital humanities for expanding the explanatory power of historical research.

profile_AshleighWadeAshleigh Wade (Summer ’16), a Kinston, North Carolina native, is a Ph.D. student in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Rutgers University. Before coming to Rutgers, Ashleigh spent four years teaching high school in Richmond, Virginia where she became interested in youth engagement with digital media technologies. Ashleigh’s research examines how Black girls’ media-making practices contribute to discourses of race, gender, and sexuality.

Lisa Young (Summer ’16 & Spring ’17) is a Ph.D. candidate and a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow in the American Studies department at Purdue University. Her research is a gendered examination of discriminatory federal housing policies. Using an interdisciplinary approach, her dissertation examines Black women’s contributions to housing justice through public health by tracing Black women writers framing of how racial restrictive covenants operated as environmentally hazardous agents in the lives of urban Black residents. She has worked as a researcher in Washington, DC with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Secretary for Research and Technology, examining how transportation policies maintain housing inequality. She will be completing an upcoming summer fellowship at the University of Chicago with the Black Metropolis Research Consortium.