Me (@jmjafrx) at #ASA2016

I attended the American Studies Association Annual Meeting last weekend in Denver. This was my first long ASA–I made it to the conference on Thursday and didn’t leave until Sunday–and it was worth every minute.

It meant I could attend the ASA Digital Humanities Caucus Business Meeting (CFP for the American Quarterly Special Issue on the Digital Humanities is available here) and had a chance to see folks I’m usually only around online like #QueerOS fam Fiona Barnett, Jacob Gabourey, and Amanda Phillips; Miriam Posner, Carly Kocurek, Angel Nieves, Jeanette Jones, and more.

It also meant I could drop in on the Grace Lee Boggs panel with Alex Lubin, Robin Kelley, Scott Kurashige, Sharon Howell, and Stephen Ward. This panel was ON TIME. It was more than on time. It was timely, past time, early, late, time traveling, and post-time. Pure food.

My presentation on digital humanities and the academy was part of the DH Caucus’s slate of panels. The panel, titled, “Homing/Redefining Digital Humanities in the Academy from an American Studies Perspective,” also felt timely and necessary.

The description is available here and here.

The discussion ranged from funding in the digital humanities, the field’s framing as emerging out of Europe, Canada, and the U.S. (so excessively Western and Global North), and the ways each panelist’s work intentionally phucks up that framing. At a certain point, we asked the social media sharing to cease while we delved into the nitty-gritty, personal, and precarious. This was important. And necessary.  We left with a challenge and an action item which the DH Caucus will be taking up in the weeks ahead. And it felt good to do something, to challenge and rebuke any new normal. It’s clear neither ASA nor the DH folks in ASA plan to be silent about what is coming. And as digital denziens with institutional resources and/or affiliations, we are in an important position to do critical, engaged work.

Finally, I can neither confirm nor deny that I, too, attended the very lit Northwestern party on Saturday night. All I can say is, thank Gawd for black queer brilliance and embodied resistance practice.

Pics below –


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