Digital technology has made the early twenty-first century a critical moment of opportunity by providing access to a wide range of library and archival materials and by offering new means of teaching, analyzing content, and presenting literary scholarship. While digital technologies have the promise of bridging institutional and geographic barriers, they have also continued to reproduce colonial hierarchies and marginalize content from the Caribbean and the Global South. This symposium, “Collaborating Across the Divide: Digital Humanities and the Caribbean,” brings together scholars and artists from the Caribbean and the United States to discuss how to collaborate through digital humanities in ways that decolonize knowledge and empower Caribbean subjects, rather than reaffirm colonial histories of archiving and education. The project will center on the Digital Library of the Caribbean (www.dloc.com), an international partnership whose technological and DH hub is the University of Florida. The objective of the symposium is to produce an action plan for making dLOC a hub for pedagogical, scholarly, and artistic collaboration.
Thursday, 21 Sept., 5-6:45pm:
Introduction and Presentation: Oonya Kempadoo
Friday, 22 Sept.:
9-10:45am: Panel: “DH and Non-DH Collaboration within the Academy,” Rosamond King and Matthew Smith
11am-12:45pm: Panel: “Public Humanities and DH Collaboration: Pedagogy beyond Academia,” Gabriele Hosein and Schuyler Esprit
12:45-2:15pm: Lunch Break
2:15-3:15pm: Platforms for Caribbean DH
5-5:15pm: Closing remarks
OONYA KEMPADOO is author of Buxton Spice (1997), winner of the Tide Running (2001), and All Decent Animals (2013); winner of the Casa de Las Americas Prize (2002), and consultant in the arts and social development, including work with UNICEF, UNAID. She was Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence and Creative Writing Instructor (2013-2014) at two colleges in Connecticut; and serves advisor to Caribbean literacy non-profit “Hands Across the Sea” and co-founder of the Mt. Zion Library and homework center in St George’s Grenada. An internationally acclaimed novelist, she is a leader in digital arts and educational collaboration in the Caribbean. Kempadoo has initiated two digital projects to support environmental sustainability in the Caribbean. The first, Naniki, is a speculative fiction, multi-media, eco-social project designed to engage students in the Caribbean and other countries in using digital technology and supporting environmental sustainability. The second, Carisealand, is a digital platform for scholars, artists, and the public for sharing projects on sustainability.
SCHUYLER ESPRIT is a scholar of Caribbean literature and cultural studies. Dr. Esprit holds a PhD in English literature from University of Maryland – College Park. She currently serves as dean of Academic Affairs at Dominica State College as well as director of the Create Caribbean Research Institute. We have invited her because she has pioneered Digital Humanities projects and digital technology training at the K-12 and College level in Dominica as well as collaboratively, courses linking classes at the Dominica State College and classes at colleges in the United States. She is now completing her book manuscript and its digital companion, both entitled Occasions for Caribbean Reading, a historical exploration of reading culture in the Caribbean.
GABRIELLE HOSEIN, Director of the Institute for Gender & Development Studies, at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine (Trinidad), which is home to several significant digital and public humanities projects, including Caribbean Review of Gender Studies, an open access peer-reviewed journal, of which Hosein is associate editor. Hosein is Principle Investigator for Politics, Power and Gender Justice in the Anglophone Caribbean, 2011-2014, member of the research team for the project Building Responsive Policy: Gender, Sexual Cultures and HIV & AIDS in the Caribbean, 2008-2011, and co-editor of Indo-Caribbean Feminist Thought Genealogies, Theories, Enactments (Palgrave 2016).
MATTHEW J. SMITH is Professor in History and Head, Department of History and Archaeology, The UWI, Mona. His areas of research include Haitian politics, society, and migration. He is the author of the books Liberty, Fraternity, Exile: Haiti and Jamaica After Emancipation (University of North Carolina Press, 2014), winner of the Haiti Illumination Project Book Prize from the Haitian Studies Association and Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change, 1934-1957 (University of North Carolina Press, 2009) which was a winner of the Gordon K and Sybil Lewis prize for best book in Caribbean History from the Caribbean Studies Association. He had contributed significantly to dLOC’s teacher training program and to its edited collection Haiti: An Island Luminous; his service work utilizes the digital for critical needs, including as Director of UWI-Mona’s Haiti Initiative following the 2010 earthquake providing assistance to Haitian university students and the Haitian national library, his work serving as Director of the UWI’s Social History Project, and as member of the Board of Museums and Archives of the Institute of Jamaica.
ROSAMOND KING (Associate Professor of English, Brooklyn College, CUNY) is a critical and creative writer and artist, whose work focuses on the Caribbean and sexuality. Her book Island Bodies: Transgressive Sexualities in the Caribbean Imagination won the 2015 Caribbean Studies Association Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Prize for the best Caribbean Studies Book. She is also a poet, artist, and performer with an extensive record of publications and performances. She is also a leader in digitizing LBGTQ archival materials from the Caribbean for dLOC and has collaboratively developed and taught with Dr. Angelique Nixon, a distributed online collaborative course (DOCC) in the US and Caribbean on sexualities.
Center for the Humanities
and the Public Sphere
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
200 Walker Hall
P.O. Box 118030
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611