(Thursday Session #2)

Goal #2: To expand and remix notions of classroom: theory and practice through intentional media use that breaks monolithic tropes and centers nuance representations of identity, culture, and media.

What we know now for certain is that going back to our respective classrooms and community spaces where we are the educator at the front of the room, will be different. If you are listening to what’s going on, you know that this current moment calls for something different, something beyond the band-aid that “diversity and inclusion” has often placed on institutions while failing to respond to some of the more real and daily ways white white supremacy and discrimination functions at the university/school level, even the places are rich in diversity.

Let's continue on this path of real talk about the ways we can use digital humanities to remix traditional how we do/make scholarship. By this, I mean bringing together Black feminist auto-ethnography (see articles), Black popular culture and performance text, and queer art makers to make the classroom be a space where students are encouraged to make work that embraces the personal as political. For this moment, I want to encourage academics, both Black and non-Black, who joined this session to think critically about the work you do and the work you want to do. Also, think about how we can be a vessel for Black and Brown students to have the freedom to study and do the work they want to do when we are not always called upon to deal with institutional racism. I wish to provide space to reflect on these questions and more as this is something I have gained the teachings of Rebecca Walker, who asks, “What does our scholarship look like if we were able to leave the intellectual plantation? (Walker, 2019).

Below are examples of works that help put my writings above into practice and a plan for some of the things we will cover in our next session on Thursday, July 30.

Media example: DONT TOUCH MY HAIR RVA (Richmond Va).

The mission of this film is to pluralize the Black narrative and reveal the wealth of Black experiences. By centering Black women, who herstorically are often bridge and backbone to social justice movements, hair expressions are used as a metaphor to depict a multiplicity of blackness. The essential ingredients of building community spaces are Black individuality and solidarity.

*Project Inspiration: Solange Knowles

*Connected Reading: The Homeplace: A Site of Resistence (essay found in googledrive)

Activity: Respond to the media clippings above by demonstrating how you think the "key terms" apply to this work. These words will be the "buzzwords" of this workshop. They will carry part of our discussion and allow for us to cultivate a Black digital space that centers Black joy and the interdisciplinary elements of Black life within the DPL portal. *I added some brief notes to give additional meaning to them. Work collaboratively as much as possible! Engage with someone on the group discussion board or respond to someone's post with your ideas regarding how you're connected the digital work I have posted so far (throughout the workshop) that connects to the space youre dreaming up for your own classroom/work with students/community. Come to our second session ready to share(!)

Disruption: Think about what in your insitutional space needs to be "disrupted" in order for you to create more opportunity for Black students/those who may feel marginzlied to feel more seen and recornized for the expertise they bring to the classroom.

Black joy (as praxis): The subversize act/acts of centering our joy and pursuit of pleasure is a way to subvert times when our stories were funded by institutions only interested in Black trauma or to propagate a  feel-good kumbaya     multiculturalism. Black joy calls for us to center the new possibilities in our lives and use the resources to serve ourselves.

Remix (scholarship): Learning from and engaging with Black popular culture to center creatives who operate in nuance and intersectionality every day.

Personal as Political: think back to the writings by bell hooks that I posted in the google drive. This is a theoretical concept that embraces the ways who we are informs the ways we take in and produce knowledge. Black hair is political!

The Story as theory: Using my scholarship to going back to particular moments, my memories, and re-articulating them as Black queer knowledge production is a practice of resistance. Black dimensionality as I theorize it, guides my method and creative practice of seeing the story as theory, understanding that my lived experiences of surviving, thriving, and centering joy in spite of constant threat is a form of theory-making.

Black Matter: understanding that there is nuance, multiplity, and complexity within Black knowledge production and that there is no one "black experience".

Fugitivity: More spefcially related to this term in my personal scholarship I talk a lot about Black queer futurity (BQF), which aligns with the philosophical concept of Afrofuturism. In going back (Sankofa), and re-envisioning past life experiences through a queer lens (BQR) as enlightening encounters (Black Joy); we engage in the science fiction of diasporic world-making, re/imagining a future where we are self-actualized.


Part 2 (Thursday)

Media Review

Homeplace making: Work that focuses on Black Dimentionality and engages with notions of making and representing concepts of home through digital humanities/media making.

Black Matter Podcast... growing to media production and oral history collection.

Share out/Discussion: using "the buzzwords".

Review our milanote page and decide what's next.

~ Read next post in Blackademics: (Remixing) Scholarship and Digital World-Making ~

Final Notes and Curated Take Home Materials, #BlackJoy

Posted by Chaz Antoine Barracks

3 min read