ENGL 393/AFST 393: Africana Literature and Culture: Digital Diaspora
In the 1990s we heard much of the democratization of knowledge emerging from the developing technological infrastructure, particularly the emerging internet. There was great hope that the free access materials on the web would allow those previously cut off from intellectual capitol to gain materials and knowledge that might be leveraged to change social position. As we move into web 2.0, however, it is increasingly clear that the digital divide apparent in technology clearly replicates the divisions existing in society. Projects as diverse as openJournals and the One Laptop per Child seek to address the disparities, but it is clear that many of the same challenge are alive and well in the digital age. In addition, the academic and museum communities’ decisions about what is digitized and how it is digitized continue to enforce such disparities. This is particularly apparent when we examine the way in which representative literature of the African Diaspora is digitized.This course will look at the previously mentioned issues within the context of the African Diaspora. The course will explore the digital divide within the diasporic community, looking at the way in which infrastructure issues, such as wireless and laptop accessibility, impact access to information. We will then examine the way in which cultural artifacts are digitized, paying particular attention to a diverse group of objects that represent the cultural heritage of the African Diaspora, from Literary Renaissance, to the Slave Trade, to Resistance movements. In addition to these explorations, we will consider the way in which community is both challenged and expanded with such developments.
Earhart, Amy (2021). ENGL 393/AFST 393: Africana Literature and Culture: Digital Diaspora. Available electronically from
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