Archives and Afterlives: A One Day Virtual Symposium on Enslaved Women and Black Digital Humanities - April 8, 2022
News and Announcements
Friday, April 01, 2022 08:48 AM

To Register:


  • Jessica Millward, UC Irvine
  • Brenda Stevenson, Oxford University
  • Ella Turenne, UC Irvine ( July 5, 1974- December 25, 2021)


This one day symposium on zoom gathers experts whose research explores the connections between chattel slavery, freedom in its various forms,  and the construction/deconstruction of  digital archives.   Discussions will be particularly focused on how  constructing digital archives can expand (rather than erase) narratives of enslaved women across time(s) and space(s).  Questions to be considered during the day include but are not limited to the following: How  does subjectivity inform the research process? In what ways are digital projects (to borrow from Kim Gallon), “technologies of recovery?” In what ways can digital projects also be “technologies of mourning,” and “technologies/algorithms  of oppression”?   How has using/producing digital archives informed how we understand enslaved women as  it relates to  geographies, sexualities,  resistance and remembrance? How have digital archives and databases transformed the ability to better understand these questions of geography, historiography, and survivals among enslaved women? In what ways does Black Digital Humanities address the violence of the traditional archive?  And to borrow from Jessica Marie Johnson and others, how can Black Digital Humanities address violence implicit in Digital Humanities writ large? And, ultimately, what will be the long lasting impact of the Covid 19 Pandemic on studies of gender, enslavement and how we understand and create archives?


Event Schedule *All times are Pacific

9:45: Welcome by Jessica Millward and Brenda Stevenson
In memoriam

10-12  Morning Session: Enslaved Women and the (Black) Digital Archive
The traditional brick and mortar archive often erases the voices of the enslaved and the voices of enslaved women, in particular.  This session focuses on the academic research and digital platforms (databases, online exhibits, graphic novels, etc) curated by three leading experts on slavery and the digital.  Panelists will present for  up to 15 minutes and then open for Q & A from the audience.  Audience members are encouraged to  use the Q & A platform in Zoom to make comments and ask questions.


  • Jessica Millward, UC Irvine
  • Jessica Marie Johnson, Johns Hopkins University
  • Rebecca Hall, University of Utah
  • Vanessa Holden, University of Kentucky  


Q & A: Audience

1:00pm -  3:00pm  Pacific -  A Case Study in Black Digital Scholarship: Electric Marronage (Panel conceived by and in honor of Ella Turenne)
Increasingly there is a digital component to  academic books and to some extent dissertations.  This panel  assembles leading scholars of digital humanities at the doctoral level.  This panel will explore decisions to engage in digital humanities works; political motivations to tell particular stories; and the decision to create and curate Taller Electric Marronage.  What are the stakes? What are the benefits? How can (black) Digital Humanities and Black feminist theory curate other forms of inquiry at the dissertation level? Presenters will speak for up to 15 minutes on their own projects and then open to the audience for Q & A.  Audience members are encouraged to  use the Q & A platform in Zoom to make comments and ask questions.


  • Lashonda Carter, UC Irvine
  • Christina Thomas - Johns Hopkins University
  • Kelsey Moore -  Johns Hopkins University
  • Halle-Mackenzie Ashby -  Johns Hopkins University


Q & A: Audience

3:00pm -3:15pm  Pacific- Concluding remarks: Millward and Stevenson