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Black History Month

0301 Hornbake Library, MITH conference Room
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 12:30 PM to 1:45 PM

Join preeminent Black Cyberculture scholar André Brock.

Tawes Hall 0330
Wednesday, February 08, 2017 - 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

A reading group analyzing the pitfalls and strengths of theories uncovering the African American experience.

Howard University Interdisciplinary Building
Thursday, February 09, 2017 - 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Explore and participate in the meaning making of the digital African American experience.

0301 Hornbake Library
Monday, February 06, 2017 - 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

Explore and participate in the meaning making of the digital African American experience.

Tawes Hall 0330
Wednesday, February 01, 2017 - 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Learn about guiding principles of black digital scholarship.

Synergies among Digital Humanities and African American History and Culture(Synergies), co-directed by the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) and the Arts and Humanities Center for Synergy (Center for Synergy), will cultivate disciplinary transformation by bringing African Americanists together to develop the tools, methods, and archives needed to address their research questions in a digital humanities (DH) framework. The proposed training model and associated programming will grow and diversify the community of scholars pursuing DH; increase the DH field’s capacity to address questions within African American studies; strengthen the capacity of African Americanist scholars to create and work with digital and archival repositories of primary source materials that privilege understanding of African American experiences; and disseminate knowledge gained at the intersections of DH and African American labor, migration, and artistic expression.

Thematic Focus: Labor, Migration and Artistic Expression

The essential tensions between labor, migration, and artistic expression in the development of African American diasporic cultures in the United States form the rich core of the Synergies project. These themes represent some of the College of Arts and Humanities’ (the College) greatest strengths[1] and will bring together prominent and nationally-recognized faculty in African American history and cultural studies from departments throughout the University of Maryland. The work of Synergies will be undertaken in collaboration with The Center for the History of the New America (CHNA), housed in the History Department and supported by two colleges, which brings together scholars of the long immigration history of the United States; The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of Visual Art and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora (The Driskell Center), which provides a locus for some of the leading artists and art historians of African American art and is the largest academic center of African American art and archive collections in the country; and the George Meany Memorial AFL-CIO Archives, housed within University Libraries, which consist of approximately 40 million documents that serve as a primary repository of the history of American labor. The research of these two centers and the AFL-CIO Archives will serve as testbeds for Synergies projects.

Project Description

Synergies builds upon existing research and training mechanisms within the College and will develop new curricular initiatives and programming. Throughout the project we will disseminate information about the process, tools, methods, and collections developed, culminating in a national symposium to initiate a research network of African American scholars with digital interests and skills.

The Digital Humanities Incubator is a series of workshops and project consultations that organize the high-level training intended to acculturate scholars, students, and librarians to the use of DH tools and methods. For Synergies, we will develop DH Incubators that respond to the project themes and will bring together scholars from a diverse array of disciplines across UMD and from neighboring campuses. The first Synergies DH Incubator will involve 8 intensive workshop sessions over two semesters (Spring - Fall 2017), led by DH specialists and archivists from MITH and University Libraries. The sessions will provide a progressive arc of skill development relevant to digital work with our testbed collections, and will be interspersed with targeted readings on methodologies, “homework” assignments, and one-on-one meetings and coaching. The first year of the DH Incubator will culminate in a “pitch and proposal” process, and selected proposals will receive more extensive and focused project-specific technical support, advice for developing the project, seed grants to cover other research costs, and support for seeking further grant funding. In the second year of the DH Incubator (Spring - Fall 2018), a 5-session workshop series will use the selected seed projects as testbeds to provide further training, teaching participants about project design and management, and introducing information architecture, usability, and technology design. By the end of this two-year period, we expect the DH Incubator process to have engaged a large cross-section of African Americanists, both on campus and beyond, in the thoughtful production of new resources, new digital research methods, and new knowledge for the field.

To support Curricular Development, Synergies Postdoctoral Fellows will each design a two-semester First-Year Innovation Research Experience (FIRE) stream sequence, a course structure that provides inquiry-based experiences and mentorship for first-year students. Synergies FIRE sequences will engage students with research questions involving African American labor, migration, and artistic expression that are tractable to digital tools and methods. Students will pursue these questions through use of project testbed collections, including hands-on work at CHNA, the Driskell Center, and the Meany Archive. Synergies FIRE students may elect further study through either the Arts and Humanities Social Innovation Scholars (SIS) program - a College supported 3-semester curricular initiative that trains promising undergraduate scholars in the use of humanities-based strategies for activism - or the Foxworth Creative Enterprise Initiative, which provides support for faculty to design and teach a course that engages students in addressing an issue encountered by underserved, at risk, and/or historically underrepresented populations. The Synergies SIS course series will allow students to learn and apply DH skills in work with non-profit organizations to answer organizational questions informed by the broad themes of this proposal. The Foxworth course will give students a learning experience that combines DH methods with the study of African American history and culture. The Project Director will work with UMD faculty in African American history and cultural studies to develop new interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate courses designed to include a DH component and hands-on practice. S/he will also establish and lead a summer curriculum transformation project to help faculty teaching African American studies classes build DH methods and tools into their courses.

The Center for Synergy will design and implement complementary Programming that will bring together research and technical experts with a broader public and will increase the accessibility and impact of both the project themes and methods of analysis. We will also design and stage the Synergies Research Seminar, an interdisciplinary reading group open to faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students focused on specialized topics that relate to the broader themes (2017) and nascent projects (2018) of the Synergies project. The Center for Synergy will also dedicate two of its WORLDWISE Dean’s Lecture Series, one each in 2017 and 2018, to probe the theoretical and pragmatic contexts of our work through presenting major speakers and related programming events for faculty and students. Finally, the Project Director will lead the planning of a 2-day national symposium at the project’s conclusion.

Conclusion

Synergies will bring together African Americanist scholars from across the College, campus, and region to re-imagine their research and scholarship through the tools, methods, and techniques of the digital humanities. The project will produce a new model for training scholars, as well as more diverse practitioners and content in the field of digital humanities. Through concerted dissemination efforts, Synergies successes and lessons learned will offer a model for replication and promise widespread benefits to the academy, to cultural heritage institutions, and to the public.

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[1] The graduate program in African American History is ranked 2nd nationally, and the African American Literary Studies graduate program of the English department is ranked 8th nationally (U.S. News and World Report, 2013), with particular strengths and renowned faculty in both African American and African Diaspora studies. The American Studies Department is ranked 3rd nationally (American Studies Association). 

 

Gildenhorn Recital Hall, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

The talk will dive into Gordon-Reed's groundbreaking book, "Thomas Jefferson & Sally Hemings: An American Controversy."

Adichie examines the powerful impact storytelling has on politics and culture across generations.

The University of Maryland’s College of Arts and Humanities presents the WORLDWISE Arts and Humanities Dean’s Lecture Series featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 2008 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship recipient and award-winning Nigerian author, and it’s FREE!

WHAT:

An intimate conversation with the influential author, Chimamanda Adichie.  Named by The New Yorker as one of the 20 most important fiction writers under 40 years old, Adichie describes her work as “realist fiction” and is largely inspired by the cultural and political history of her home country of Nigeria.

She will speak  to the cross-generational significance of storytelling and its enduring impact on the cultural history of our lives.

Recently Adichie was also named one of “The New Guard: People Who Are Shaping Washington” by the Washingtonian and awarded the 2011-2012 fellowship by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.  Her newest novel, “Americanah” will be published by Knopf in May 2013.

WHEN:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 5:30-7:30 PM

WHERE:

Gildenhorn Recital Hall, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 Map.

BACKGROUND:

Presented by the College of Arts and Humanities in collaboration with the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies and the Institute for International Programs.

Admittance is free. Media should present credentials. For those attending:

  • Please RSVP with Nicky Everette at meve@umd.edu
  • Due to limited seating, please arrive early - Doors open at 5:00 p.m.
  • No food/drinks are allowed in the Gildenhorn Recital Hall

ABOUT THE DEAN’S LECTURE SERIES:

The Dean's Lecture Series provides an opportunity for the college faculty, students and staff to join together with colleagues across campus for stimulating conversation about issues that cross our disciplines.  Lectures and performances may address either enduring or emerging questions central to the arts and humanities, or questions arising from other disciplines to which the arts and humanities might speak.

In addition to presenting a major public event, each speaker interacts in smaller settings with faculty, graduate students and/or undergraduates.  This new series follows up on the spirited and popular moderated round table discussions, "BE WORLDWISE: The Arts and Humanities in the 21st Century."

MEDIA:

Media coverage is welcome. Parking is available in the Stadium Drive Garage across from the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and just off University Blvd.

To join in the live twitter conversation on the day of the event, follow the College of Arts and Humanities on Twitter @umd_arhu and use #ARHUDLS

CONTACT:

For more information about this event, please contact Nicky Everette, College of Arts & Humanities, Director of Marketing and Communications at meve@umd.edu or 301-405-6714.

 

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