AADHUM Project Team

Bonnie Thornton Dill
Sheri Parks
Neil Fraistat
Catherine Knight Steele
Jovonne Bickerstaff
Justin Hosbey
Kevin Winstead
Jessica Lu
Melissa Brown
Will Thomas

Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities

Trevor Muñoz
Purdom Lindblad

Arts & Humanities Center for Synergy

Cara Kennedy
Ashley Richerson Miller

Advisory Board


Bonnie Thornton Dill, Principal Investigator, is dean of the University of Maryland’s College of Arts and Humanities and professor of Women’s Studies. Beginning with her first book, “Across the Boundaries of Race and Class,” a study of Black women domestic workers and followed by research and publications on low income single mothers in the rural south, Thornton Dill has explored the ways in which economic opportunity, class position, race and gender combine to influence the life choices and chances of women of color in U.S. society. A pioneering scholar researching the intersections of race, class and gender in the U.S., Thornton Dill’s scholarship has been reprinted in numerous collections and edited volumes. Prior to assuming the position of dean, Dill chaired the Women’s Studies Department at Maryland for eight years and  worked with colleagues to launch two research centers that became national leaders in developing and disseminating the body of scholarship that has come to be known by the term “intersectionality.” Today she holds the title of founding director for both the Center for Research on Women at the University of Memphis and the Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity at the University of Maryland. She was elected president of the National Women’s Studies Association (2010-2012) and vice president of the American Sociological Association (2005-2008). Currently, she is chair of the Committee of Scholars for Ms. magazine.  She has won a number of prestigious awards including two awards for mentoring; the Jessie Bernard Award and the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award both given by the American Sociological Association; the Eastern Sociological Society’s Robin Williams Jr. Distinguished Lectureship; and in 2009-2010 was appointed Stanley Kelley, Jr. Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University. She earned her doctoral degree in sociology from New York University. back to top


 Catherine Knight Steele, Project Director, a scholar of race, gender and media with specific focus on African American culture and discourse in traditional and new media. Her research has appeared in the Howard Journal of Communications and the book “Intersectional Internet” (S.U. Noble and B. Tynes Ed.S.) Her doctoral dissertation, “Digital Barbershops,” focused heavily on the black blogosphere and the politics of online counterpublics. She is currently working on a monograph about digital black feminism and new media technologies. She earned her doctorate in communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago. back to top


Jovonne J. Bickerstaff, Post Doctoral Fellow, is a scholar of gender, race, family and emotions. Her dissertation entitled, “Together, Close, Resilient: Essays on Emotion Work Among Black Couples,” examines African American couples in enduring relationships (10-40 years) in Cleveland, New York and Chicago. Using a sociology of emotion lens, it builds on Arlie Hochschild’s conceptual framework of emotion management, returning the analysis of family work (e.g. housework, childcare) to its qualitative roots by examining couples' strategies and perspectives on emotional carework—the neglected dimension of family work. Theorizing from black couples' experience, it disturbs the trend of taking educated, white, middle-class couples as the normative American family and reveals how our conceptualization of emotion work might benefit from greater consideration of social positionality. Her new research troubles recent claims that Americans have entered a "new insecurity culture," by underlining how the chronic uncertainty and heightened insecurity that accompanies being black in America may have shaped emotional socialization in ways that foster resilience but undermine intimacy. Bickerstaff received her doctorate in sociology from Harvard University. back to top


Justin Hosbey, Post Doctoral Fellow, received his doctorate in cultural anthropology with a certificate in digital humanities from the University of Florida in 2016. His ethnographic projects focus on Black social life, primarily in the American South. His dissertation, Charter Schools, Black Social Life, and the Refusal of Death in Post-Katrina New Orleans used ethnography, spatial analysis, and Augmented Reality to explore the social consequences of the privatization of the New Orleans, Louisiana’s public school system after Hurricane Katrina. He is also a coordinator of the African American History Project at the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program. His research analytics are informed by perspectives from Critical Black Studies, cultural geography, and cultural anthropology. His intellectual work is interested in investigating the ways that Black Americans have resisted anti-Black violence (from both state and civil society) from the beginnings of racial slavery through its afterlife — using, in the words of Lorraine Hansberry, “every single means of struggle: legal, illegal, passive, active, violent and non-violent.” back to top


Kevin Winstead, Graduate Assistant, is a Ph.D. student in American Studies at the University of Maryland. His current research interest centers around social movements, religion, the social construction of reality and material culture. Kevin’s previous work focused on the mobilization dynamics of The Civil Rights Movement and the subsequent Black Catholic sub movement.

Winstead is a 2015-16 Teaching and Learning Transformation Center Graduate Fellow. His work focuses on digital participatory learning, exploring online technologies as a method of investigating ongoing social movements. He is working on the AADHum project as a Graduate Assistant during the 2016-17 school year, for which he convenes and facilitates project events and other scholarly activities. back to top


Jessica Lu, Graduate Assistant, is a Doctoral Candidate in Rhetoric & Political Culture in the Department of Communication at University of Maryland, College Park. Her research pursues questions of race and racial formation, with a specific focus on African American rhetorical history and resistance. Jessica is currently writing her dissertation, which explores the state's role in codifying the exclusion and dehumanization of blackness in the era of emancipation. back to top


Melissa Brown, Graduate Assistant, is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research incorporates critical race theory into her work through a Black feminist lens to examine the role of women in social movements. Melissa received her Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2015. Currently, Melissa does research in digital sociology, specifically examining antiracist social media activism. back to top


Will Thomas, Graduate Assistant, is a Ph.D. student in Information Studies (iSchool) at the University of Maryland, College Park. His research focuses on formalized information organization and how the collective voice it enables in the present is shaped by its antecedents in the document systems which organized slavery-based industrial production. He received his MLS at the University of Maryland in 2015. back to top




Neil Fraistat, Co-Investigator, is director of MITH and professor of English. His service, honors and awards bridge the traditional and digital humanities. He has served as chair of the international Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO), is a founder and Co-Chair of centerNet, an international network of digital humanities centers, and is Vice President of the Keats-Shelley Association of America. Fraistat has published widely on the subjects of Romanticism, Textual Studies, and Digital Humanities in such journals as PMLA, JEGP, Studies in Romanticism, Text, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and Literary and Linguistic Computing, as well as in such books as “The Poem and the Book,” “Poems in Their Place," and The “Prometheus Unbound” Notebooks. A founder and general editor of the Romantic Circles website, he is the coeditor of “Reimagining Textuality: Textual Studies in the Late Age of Print;” “The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley” (3 vols. to date); the Norton Critical edition, “Shelley’s Poetry and Prose;” an edition of “Helen Maria Williams’s Letters Written in France,” and the “Cambridge Companion to Textual Scholarship.” Fraistat received his doctorate in English from the University of Pennsylvania. back to top

Trevor Muñoz, Associate Director, and Assistant Dean for Digital Humanities Research at the University of Maryland Libraries, holds an M.A. in Digital Humanities from the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London and a M.S. in Library and Information Science from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He specializes in issues related to curation of humanities data including data management planning, systems and best practices. He is co-editor of a forthcoming guide to resources for data curation in the humanities and co-organized the first Humanities Data Curation Summit intended to promote the development of a sustainable plan for preserving digital humanities research. back to top

Purdom Lindblad, Assistant Director of Innovation and Learning, oversees MITH’s growing portfolio of courses and instructional programs, including DH Incubators oriented around the Synergies Among Digital Humanities and African American History and Culture project.

Linblad has an M.A. in American Studies from Michigan State University and an M.S. in Information Science from the School of Information, University of Michigan. Interested in digital humanities since graduate school, she has worked at Michigan State University’s Matrix, Virginia Tech Libraries and the Scholars’ Lab at the University of Virginia Library. back to top


Sheri Parks, Co-Investigator, is associate professor of American Studies, associate dean for Research, Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Programming, and director of the Arts and Humanities Center for Synergy. From 1994-1999 she served as associate dean in the University of Maryland’s Office of Undergraduate Studies. She has also won several campus-wide awards for teaching and leadership, including Woman of Color and University Honors Faculty of the Year. She is a respected public intellectual, an award winning NPR radio personality and the author of “Fierce Angels: Living with a Legacy from the Sacred Dark Feminine to the Strong Black Woman” (2 editions), selected as an Essence magazine editor’s pick, in addition to a number of articles in scholarly and mass media publications. She has appeared often in national and international media, including Anderson Cooper 360, the NBC Evening News, The New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, the BBC and German, Chinese, Polish and Israeli news services.  She serves on the board of several local and national art and culture non-profit organizations and is program chair of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, the umbrella arts and culture organization for Baltimore and the five surrounding counties. She received her doctorate in Human Communication (Social Sciences) at the University of Massachusetts. back to top

Cara Kennedy, Grants Development Coordinator, earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Arizona State University. Her research has focused on the design and evaluation of preventive interventions for children and families, both in the United States and in Haiti, and on the mental health impact of child servitude in Haiti. Prior to coming to the College of Arts and Humanities’s Center for Synergy, she worked as a grant writer for a nonprofit organization working in Haiti. As grants development coordinator, she is responsible for supporting faculty in identifying and securing resources for their research and scholarship. back to top

Ashley Richerson Miller, Coordinator, holds an M.Ed. in Community Arts, Integrated Arts specialization from Lesley University. Her professional interests include interdisciplinary and arts-integrated education, curriculum development, and community arts programming. Prior to coming to the College of Arts and Humanities’s Center for Synergy, she worked as a musician, educator and administrator in schools, nonprofits and higher education. Miller is responsible for coordinating administrative operations and programming for the center. back to top


Renee Ater, Art History and Archaeology

Ira Berlin, History/CGMS

Christopher Bonner, History

Elsa Barkley Brown, History

Merle Collins, English

Patricia Hill Collins, BSOS-Sociology

Howard Dodson, Howard- Libraries

Kim Gallon, Purdue- History

Julie Greene, History/CGMS

Curlee Holton, Driskell Center

Sharon Harley, BSOS-African American Studies

Robert S. Levine, English

Trevor Munoz, Libraries/MITH

Zita Nunes, English

Michael Ross, History

Mary Helen Washington, English

Daryle Williams, Assoc. Dean/History

Psyche Williams-Forson, American Studies

Dorit Yaron, Driskell Center

Ruth Zambrana, Women’s Studies

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