Digital Humanities Speaker Series presents:
“We Speak, We Make, We Tinker:
Afrofuturism as Applied Digital Humanities”
Friday, September 23
10:00 am · Alderman, Rm 421
Afrofuturism is the manifestation of digital humanities. The goals of the thinkers, makers, creatives, and speakers involved in both digital humanities and afrofuturism are so much the same—yet—impossibly different. Afrofuturists focus on the future past were Black peoples are people—more than flesh—they are humanities. They have powers and abilities so present and ancient they are as unreadable script as the 3D maker spaces of digital humanist are to the CD ROMs of your average humanist. We are the hidden code. Don’t look for the gatekeepers to lock us out, our imaginations know no gates. We don’t wait for the dust to settle on old debates. We’ve already made new ideas and new dust.
Digital Humanities is about making a past future where all of human knowledge and creation is understood to benefit human future past. To achieve this goal it can’t duplicate the failure of humanities by excluding human women, Black humans, Gay humans, Transgender humans, Asian humans, Queer humans, differently able humans. Digital humanities must first recognize humanness before it can code and create visualizations of a past future or future past. Afrofuturism can help.
This talk focuses on the ways in which Afrofuturism and Digital Humanities can come together to bring their inherent creative theories, methods and applications together to engage in an equitable discourse to changes the future of the humanities. I argue that born out of these collaborations could be new approaches which will engage knowledge productions in the areas of the humanities often relegated to “area studies” and recenter those contributions within their equitable portion of human knowledge.
Toniesha Taylor is an Associate Professor of Communication in the Department Languages and Communication at Prairie View A & M University. She engages with discussions on womanist rhetoric as method and theory; practical social justice pedagogy for faculty and students; critical engagement in popular cultural critique; digital humanities methods implications for activist recovery projects; African American women’s sermons and conversion discourses both historic and contemporary. Her research projects include the Prairie View Women’s Oral History Project, designed to collect, preserve, curate and display the oral histories of women at Prairie View A&M University, and “White Violence, Black Resistance,” with Dr. Amy Earhart, which seeks to digitize a broad set of primary documents related to interactions of race and power. Both projects can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/bkresist/.