The Black Digital Humanities Lab Presents

black digital humanities symposium

April 12, 2024

About the Symposium

In an era of rapid technological advancements and shifting global dynamics, Black Digital Humanities (BDH) stands as a crucial area for understanding and influencing these changes, particularly as they relate to Black experiences and futures. This symposium brings together graduate students, practitioners, community activists, and artists to discuss the future of this field, exploring what it means to come together to weave Black futures. 
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* An access link will be sent via email to all those who register closer to the date of the symposium.

Meet our Keynote Speaker: 
Catherine Knight Steele

Catherine Knight Steele is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Maryland - College Park, where she directs the BlackCommunication and Technology Lab (BCaT) and the Digital Studies in Art & Humanities graduate certificate program at the University of Maryland. Dr. Steele was also the inaugural director of the African American Digital Humanities Initiative.

Her research focuses on race, gender, and media, specifically emphasizing Black culture, digital communication, and technology. She moves beyond examinations of representation in the media to consider the relationship between resistance and joy as technologies of liberation online. Catherine’s research on the Black blogosphere, histories of digital discourse, and digital Black feminism has been published in such journals as Social Media +Society, Information, Communication and Society, Feminist Media Studies, and Rhetoric Society Quarterly. 

Her award-winning book, Digital Black Feminism (NYU Press 2021) examines the relationship between Black women and technology as a centuries-long gendered and racial project in the U.S. Her latest book (co-authored with J.H. Lu and K. Winstead), Doing Black Digital Humanities with Radical Intentionality was published in 2023 with Routledge.


With more to be announced!
Opening Remarks and Welcome
Dr. Brittany Myburgh & Keith Cheng
Black Digital Humanities Lab
Representation & Resistance in Digital Media

Moderated by Alissa Rae Funderburk 
(Jackson State University)
“The Future of Play: Representation in Storytelling, Decolonization in Digital Games, and Black Women’s Cultural Labor Production”

Diamond Beverly-Porter, Washington State University


“Islamicate Afrofuturism: Race, Religion, Science fiction, and Beyond”

Rebecca Hankins & Muhammad A Ahmad, Texas A&M University


 “Hot & Heavy: The Information Behaviours of Queer and Gender Non-Conforming Online Erotica Readers.”

Hayat Abdulhakim, University of Toronto
AI Ethics in the Digital Humanities
Krystal Chatman,
Mississippi Computer Science Teachers Association

Afrofuturist Perspectives

Moderated by Awo Abokor (University of Toronto, Faculty of Information)
"Afrofuturism and The Black Digital Humanities Reshaping Educational Technology and Social Science Research"

Joshua Schuschke, Ashley Stewart, & Noah Nelson,
Johns Hopkins University; Georgia State University
Lunch Break & Projects-In-Progress Lightning Talks
"Sisters Outside the (Digital) Archive: Creating A Contemporary Performance Pedagogy Based on the Choreo / Poetics of Audre Lorde & Ntozake Shange"

T. Lang,
Spelman College


"Leveraging Kinesiology for Black Futures: Integrating Health, Movement, and Tech"

Dwedor Ford,
Prairie View A&M University


"Building Back the Blacktop: A Case for Digital Humanities as Historic Preservation"

Jennifer Saunders,
University of Virginia Anthropology Department; UVA Libraries Scholars' Lab


"Preserving Black Religious Heritage: A Digital Humanities Approach to Documenting Episcopal Leadership in the AMEZ Church" 

Edudzi Sallah,
Texas A&M University
Black Geographies: On Space, Place, and Design

Moderated by Dr. Andrea Charise (University of Toronto Scarborough)
Dr. Nehal El Hadi,
PhD, University of Toronto

Aljumaine Gayle,
Design Technologist

Dr. Christy Hyman,
Assistant Professor, Mississippi State University 

Tura Cousins Wilson
Principal Architect, Studio of Contemporary Architecture

Changing Landscapes, New Directions

Moderated by Keith Cheng (University of Toronto)
Dr. Rico Chapman,
Dean, Jackson State University College of Liberal Arts

Melissa J. Nelson,
Archivist, Archives of Ontario; Founder, Black Memory Collective

Dr. Kathy Moscou,
Interim Dean, OCAD Faculty of Design

Dr. Cheryl Thompson
Associate Professor, Toronto Metropolitan University; Director, Black Creative Lab
Keynote Address
Dr. Catherine Knight Steele,
Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Maryland
Interactive Workshops:
Black Resistance in Virtual Space/Quilting Black Futures
Leta Hendricks,
The Ohio State University

Azza Osman & Ashanti Stiff,
Black Digital Humanities Lab
Concluding Remarks & Symposium Wrap-Up
Dr. Brittany Myburgh & Keith Cheng
Black Digital Humanities Lab
This event is organized by the Black Digital Humanities Lab, a collaboration between the Jackson State University Department of Art and Theatre and the Diversity Working Group at the University of Toronto, in collaboration with the Centre for Africana Digital Humanities at Clark Atlanta, The School of Cities at the University of Toronto, and the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Unit at the University of Toronto Faculty of Information.

Our team consists of Ashanti Stiff, Azza Osman, Hayat Abdulhakim, Keith Cheng, and Dr. Brittany Myburgh. Any questions and/or inquiries can be directed to
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