[PAST EVENT] GSWS Talks:  Dr. Amy E. Earhart & Izetta Autumn Mobley

March 26, 2019
Blow Memorial Hall, Room 201
262 Richmond Rd
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Access & Features
  • Open to the public
Dr. Amy E. Earhart & Izetta Autumn Mobley

Resisting Archival Violence: Ethical Practices for Building Black Digital Archives 

Dr. Amy E. Earhart considers ways by which digital archive construction produces exclusions by not only data collection, but the very structures In which we collect and display digital texts through the case study of a small scale digital humanities archiving project, The Millican Massacre, 1868. Engaging wtth concerns about what is being archived and how it is being archived, wtth a particular attention to the ways that common archival tools structure data, the talk reveals how archives might reinscribe violence through methods of collection, display and preservation. As Jessica Johnson reminds us, "There is no bloodless data in Slavery's archive." Further, the talk asks scholars to consider their positionality in relationship to those whose experience is archived, discussing ways in which the Millican Massacre, 1868 archive required navigation between local communities impacted by the long history of racial violence and the home institution of Earhart, Texas A&M University, a predominantly white institution wtth a founding history of segregation and white supremacy. Finally, the talk lays out some ways that digital humanists may begin to form an ethical code of digital archive construction. 

Rihanna Says Work: Accounting for the Digital Labor of Black Women
In the mid-twentieth-century

Izetta Autumn Mobley addresses the violence of digital labor and asks for an accounting of the cost of failing to recognize the digital cultural production of Black women. Oral historian Studs Terkel observed that "work, is, by its very nature, about violence - to the spirit as well as to the body." What then might work mean in a twenty-first century landscape that embraces the digital while simultaneously minimizing and appropriating the digital cultural labor of Black women? As ideas about when we labor, who labors, and how labor happens shift, pivot. and evolve. scholars must account for the continued work of marginalized people, especially in digital spaces. Singer and mogul Rihanna's admonition to "work" and to "have my money," sound an echo of  observation of the violence of work by specifically situating that violence within the experiences of Black women. What would it mean to take Rihanna seriously as a theorist who directs us to reconsider work, capital, and the demand to "pay me what you owe me" for cultural production in digital spaces? What must we account for as we inhabit digital spaces as academics, researchers, and archi­vists? What necessary quotidian practices support an equitable engagement with the digital labor of Black women? This talk addresses the violence of digital labor and asks for an accounting of the cost of failing to recognize the digital cultural production of Black women.