Johnson at Princeton-CAAS Discussing “Black Studies in the Digital Age”

Johnson at Princeton-CAAS Discussing “Black Studies in the Digital Age”

I join faculty and students at the Center for African American Studies for a seminar on “Black Studies in the Digital Age”

“Black Studies in the Digital Age” aims to be a space to think critically and creatively about the study of race generally — and African American and African diaspora studies specifically — in this era of momentous technological transformation. The seminar will be equally concerned with theory and practice. Invited presenters will include scholars theorizing race in the context of an array of digital technologies and media. They will be joined by academics and other practitioners developing innovative digital projects that are redefining traditional modes of scholarship, archival practice, and modes of public engagement.”

I’ll be presenting a work-in-progress titled “Markup the Bodies: Black [Birth] and Slavery [Death] Studies at the Digital Crossroads.” I’m waiting on seminar feedback before sharing it more widely, but will be posting it here soon enough! Until then, a snippet:

“Among the first units of inheritable labor and credit in what would become the United States, slaves became intimately aware of their own worth, the worth of their children and the people they partnered with. Defiant slaves stood on auction blocks and sold themselves by chastizing or cajoling slave traders, claiming and denying skills when convenient. Who but slaves, on the front lines of modernity, in bodies transformed by and battling the pressurizing influence of the plantation complex, would understand the latest innovations in technologies of punishment or productivity, rituals for spirit and reproduction? Slaves, as scientists and theorists, memorized their own metadata.”

If you’re in the NY/NJ area on Wednesday, I’d love to see you.
“Black Studies in the Digital Age” Seminar
Princeton U
October 1, 4:30-6:00pm
Stanhope Hall, Barfield – Johnson Seminar Room (201)

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