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New Directions in Black Atlantic Studies Symposium

April 16

9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Panel Conversations

Presentations by Nicole Aljoe (Northeastern), Lara Choksey (University of Exeter), Jennifer Reed (Boston University), Tao Leigh Goffe (Cornell), Samantha Pinto (University of Texas, Austin), Andrew Shephard (University of Utah), and ‘Ilaheva Tua’one (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)

Workshop with the Early Caribbean Digital Archive: The Fugitive Caribbean Project


The Early Caribbean Digital Archive (ECDA) is an open-access, digital archive of pre-twentieth century Caribbean texts, maps, and images collected with the intention of decolonizing the archive by foregrounding the centrality and creativity of enslaved and free African, Afro-creole, and Indigenous peoples in the Caribbean world. The Fugitive Caribbean Project, a new sub-project of the ECDA, invites you to transcribe the text of fugitive slave ads from the Barbados Mercury (1762-1848). The ECDA team—in collaboration with the National Archive of Barbados—is working to develop a digitized text database of the wealth of information contained in the hundreds of runaway ads that appeared in the newspaper of the colony of Barbados in the eighteenth century. We are using the Zooniverse platform for crowd-sourced transcription and invite your participation in the debut of this project. Participants will use the Zooniverse platform to both transcribe the text of the ads as well as contribute metadata (the names, places and dates relevant to the ad) to assist in the further archiving and digital preservation of these ads. 

Keynote Address: “Towards a Prismatic Black Consciousness”


Nalo Hopkinson’s keynote address, “Towards a Prismatic Black Consciousness,” takes up the following topic: radical alliances across the Black Atlantic and beyond require multifaceted understandings and articulations of identity, reality and possibility. As a fiction writer, Hopkinson employs a speculative imagining of intersectionality grounded simultaneously in hybridity and in Blackness.

Nalo Hopkinson is a writer and editor of speculative fiction and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. She received an M.A. in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University and a Doctor of Letters from Anglia Ruskin University, UK. Hopkinson was born in Jamaica, and her writing often draws on Caribbean language and traditions. She is the author of five novels, including Brown Girl in the Ring (1998), for which Hopkinson was awarded the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and Midnight Robber (2000), which received Honorable Mention in Cuba’s Casa de las Americas prize for literature written in Creole. With Neil Gaiman, Hopkinson co-authored House of Whispers, their first book in the Sandman Universe series and a finalist for a Hugo Award. Hopkinson’s other awards include the World Fantasy Award; the Andre Norton Award; finalist for a Nebula Award; two-time recipient of the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic; and the Gaylactic Spectrum Award for positive exploration of queer folk. In 2021, Hopkinson became a Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master, a lifetime honor presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA): this award makes her the youngest Grand Master and the first woman of African descent.

Organizer: Department of English

View Organizer Website