My current book project, Internationalist Appeals: African Americans and the Spanish Civil War, analyzes the ways authors of poetry, journalism, pamphleteering, performance, art, and memoir connected the war against fascism in Spain with the struggles and interests of African Americans. The study focuses on an intersecting cast of characters, with Langston Hughes, Thyra Edwards, Louise Thompson at the center, and expands the scope of what we typically think of when we consider African American engagements with Spain. As I have focused on the ways black women participated, represented themselves, and were represented in various cultural texts from the Spanish Civil War, new understandings of this history emerged.
I completed a PhD in English with a certificate in American Studies at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. My dissertation, Archives of Transnational Modernism: Lost Networks of Art and Activism, laid the groundwork for my current book project, and several other publications on interwar African American literature. I edited a volume of previously unpublished correspondence and poems, Langston Hughes, Nancy Cunard, and Louise Thompson: Poetry, Politics, and Friendship in the Spanish Civil War (Lost & Found CUNY Poetics Documents, 2012). My article on Nancy Cunard’s Spanish Civil War scrapbook appeared in the Massachusetts Review (2014). “‘A Black Man Replies’: Claude McKay’s Challenge to the British Left” (2016) was recently published in Lateral.
I was a Council on Library Information and Resources Postdoctoral Fellow at Emory University in the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library and the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship in 2014-2016. At Emory, I collaborated with librarians, archivists, technologists, and scholars on a number of digital projects that involve archival material. In addition, I ran workshops for faculty, staff, and students on digital tools for research, professionalization, and pedagogy that draw on my teaching experience, my work as a fellow in a Writing Across the Curriculum program, and my service on the editorial collective of The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy.
My project “Networks of African American Culture: Portrait of a Collecting Strength” creates network graphs that visualize connections among 56 Rose Library collections and the people, organizations, and places named in their finding aids. I supplement the network graphs with interviews with curators and archivists, to record the interpersonal histories and interventions that impact the collections, but which are not recorded in finding aids, and thus not represented in the network graphs. I have become interested in making visible the work of archivists for researchers. In this vein, I organized and moderated a roundtable on Archival Practices at the 2016 MLA conference, which brought archivists and humanities scholars into conversation across the disciplinary divide.