Digital Ethnic Futures
2021-2022 Events

2021-2022 Events

During the 2021-2022 academic year, we organized a speaker series, networking opportunities, and a virtual annual meeting.

May 13, 2022 – 11AM Eastern/8AM Pacific to 4PM Eastern/1PM Pacific

DEFCon Virtual Annual Meeting

More details are available here.

Our first Virtual Annual Meeting on May 13th from 11am-4pm Eastern featured a keynote by Dr. Joanne Gabbin, Executive Director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center, in conversation with DEFCon co-PI Dr. Sonya Donaldson, New Jersey City University at 11AM Eastern, as well as presentations from DEFCon Teaching Fellows.

Bio: Joanne Veal Gabbin is the Executive Director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center and Professor of English at James Madison University. She is author of Sterling A. Brown: Building the Black Aesthetic Tradition and a children’s book, I Bet She Called Me Sugar Plum. She is also the editor of The Furious Flowering of African American Poetry, Furious Flower: African American Poetry from the Black Arts Movement to the Present, Mourning Katrina: A Poetic Response to Tragedy, Shaping Memories: Reflections of African American Women Writers, Swaying in Wicked Grace: A Collection Commemorating 25 Years of Furious Flower, and Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry, with co-editor Lauren K. Alleyne.

April 25, 2022, 5PM Eastern/2PM Pacific

DEFCon Speaker Series: Dr. Jim McGrath, Salem State University and Arizona State University

The DEFCon Speaker Series continued on Monday, April 25th at 5pm Eastern with a talk by Dr. Jim McGrath, instructional designer at Salem State University and Faculty Associate in the Arizona State University School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies.

Networks of Injustice: Reflections on Teaching Digital Public History and Data Literacy

How can our approaches to data literacy reveal and resist extractive and dehumanizing ideas and uses of data? Where and how can we model best practices in more deliberate, collaborative, and community-centered methods of digital public history in the classroom? This talk focuses on “Mapping Violence,” a 2020 undergraduate ethnic studies course co-taught by Monica Muñoz Martinez, Jim McGrath, and Edwin Rodriguez at Brown University on histories and legacies of state-sanctioned racial violence at the Texas and Mexico borders in the early twentieth century. My hope is that these reflections will inform a more general conversation about pedagogical collaborations, assignment development and scaffolding, and creating conditions of care and support for students in courses at the intersection of digital humanities and ethnic studies.    

Bio: Dr. Jim McGrath is a white academic living and working on the lands of the Massachusett and Pawtucket peoples. He is currently an Instructional Designer at Salem State University and a Faculty Associate in Arizona State University’s School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies. He has worked on several digital public humanities projects, including Mapping Violence, The Rhode Island COVID-19 Archive, and Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive. His writing has appeared in Doing Public Humanities (Routledge, 2020), American Quarterly, The Public Historian, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and Reviews in Digital Humanities. More information on Jim can be found at his personal website, and he is on Twitter @JimMc_Grath.

March 30, 2022, 3:30PM Eastern/12:30PM Pacific

We were delighted to be joined on Wednesday, March 30th at 3:30pm Eastern for Dr. Elisa Beshero-Bondar and Dr. Shirley Moody-Turner’s talk for the DEFCon Speaker Series!

“​​Black DH and a Challenge in Document Data Modeling: Anna Julia Cooper’s Responses to the Survey of Negro College Graduates

In this presentation, we explore ways to engage students with manuscripts and complex textual documents in order to give them a chance to be decision-makers about digital representation. We will speak about how we came to collaborate around Anna Julia Cooper and the different communities of practice our collaboration has included. From demystifying scholarly editing for undergraduates, to expanding the idea of what and who counts as a textual scholar, to engaging undergraduates and graduate students with digital tools, we share a pedagogical and scholarly practice that seeks to build communities within and beyond the classroom. 

We share an example drawn from a 2020 collaboration addressing an interesting and particularly challenging document drawn from Cooper’s archive. In the 1930s, Dr. Cooper, educator and foremother of Black feminist thought, responded to a Survey of Negro College Graduates. Cooper’s response to one question about her “racial philosophy” exceeded the limits of the form and was later published as an essay, removed from its original context. In Fall 2020, Alice Rong led undergraduates in PSU Behrend’s Text Encoding class to prepare a digital scholarly edition of the entire document. In preparing the experimental project assignment, Dr. Beshero-Bondar was guided by Dr. Moody-Turner, who collaborated with Dr. Lopez Matthews at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center on the digitization of Cooper’s collection at Howard University. The project we worked on in Fall 2020 represents a new approach to modeling documents that enmesh print with handwriting in a back-and-forth dialogue. The process of engaging with these documents involved the professors providing expectations, resources, standards, and guidelines and inviting the students to make scholarly decisions when confronting specific problems for representation and annotation. Our collaboration highlights the importance of digital scholarly editing for Black digital humanities research that involves undergraduates with faculty scholars in making resources meaningful, legible, and findable.

Bios: Dr. Elisa Beshero-Bondar is professor of Digital Humanities and program chair of Digital Media, Arts, and Technology at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. She has been involved in digital scholarly editing for the past decade, and has served on the TEI Technical Council since 2016. Back in 2011, she published a book, Women, Epic, and Transition in British Romanticism (University of Delaware Press, 2011) that paved the way for her digital work in the next decade, including her launch of the Digital Mitford project to produce a TEI-based digital scholarly edition of the works and letters of 19th-century author Mary Russell Mitford. Lately she coordinates re-mediation, automated collation, and the TEI conversion pipeline for the Frankenstein Variorum project, comparing five versions of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Her recent publications address work in progress on these projects as well as theory and practice with markup technologies in digital scholarly editing and pedagogy. Her development site at hosts a wide range of digital projects for research and teaching in collaboration with colleagues and led by her students.

Dr. Shirley Moody-Turner is associate professor and award-winning teacher of English and African American Studies at Penn State University. She is the founding co-director, with P. Gabrielle Foreman, of the Center for Black Digital Research/#DigBlk where she works with teams of faculty, staff, librarians, post-doctoral fellows, student leaders, and community members to bring to digital life the lost, overlooked, and buried histories of 19th and early 20th century Black organizing. She is the founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Digital Project, a cross-institutional partnership that worked with the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center to digitize the Anna Julia Cooper Papers and with Douglass Day 2020 to produce a community-based, crowd-sourced transcription of the collection. She is author and editor of several published and forthcoming books including Black Folklore and the Politics of Racial Representation, the co-edited collection, Contemporary African American Literature: The Living Canon, African American Literature in Transition 1900-1910, and the forthcoming, Penguin Portable Anna Julia Cooper (Penguin Classics). She is currently at work on an interpretive biography reframing Cooper’s “courageous revolt” as part of the long history Black women’s organizing.

February 28, 2022, 5PM Eastern/2PM Pacific

DEFCon Speaker Series: Dr. Jennifer Guiliano, IUPUI

We launched our DEFCon Speaker Series on Monday, February 28th at 5pm Eastern with a talk by Dr. Jennifer Guiliano, author of the forthcoming A Primer for Teaching Digital History: 10 Design Principles (Duke UP, 2022). 

“Teaching for a Digital Ethnic Future: Strategies for Syllabi, Classrooms, and Curriculum” 

What does it mean to build towards a digital ethnic future? How do we incorporate social justice oriented pedagogy in our syllabi, classrooms, and curriculum? This talk highlights examples from digital humanities that incorporate social justice in the classroom. It provides principles and opportunities to guide your development as a teacher and facilitator. And, as importantly, it provides the opportunity to discuss with one another the variety of digital ethnic futures we might encourage in our students.  

Bio: Dr. Jennifer Guiliano is a white academic living and working on the lands of the Myaamia/Miami, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Wea, and Shawnee peoples. She currently holds a position as Associate Professor in the Department of History and affiliated faculty in both Native American and Indigenous Studies and American Studies at IUPUI in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is the author of 10 Principles for Teaching Digital History (Duke University Press, May 2022), co-editor with Roopika Risam of Reviews in Digital Humanities, and co-director of the Humanities Intensive Teaching and Learning Institute (HILT). You can follow her on Twitter @jenguiliano.

December 13, 2021, 6PM Eastern/3PM Pacific

Informational Webinar for DEFCon Funding Opportunities
Hosted by Roopika Risam and Keja Valens (Salem State University) and featuring DEFCon Steering Committee members Sonya Donaldson, Jamila Moore Pewu, and Toniesha Taylor, this webinar offered an overview of the funding opportunities from DEFCon: Teaching Fellowships, Capacity Building Fellowships, and Mentorships.