Dr. Julian C. Chambliss
Julian C. Chambliss explores the real and imagined city. From planning and community development to comic books and popular culture, his research, teaching, and writing explore how perceptions shape policy and action creating our collective urban experience. Like most Floridians, Julian was not born in the state. His true origin remains shrouded in mystery. We know that his quiet demeanor and glowing character guided him through childhood.
Chambliss served as Professor of History in the Department of History at Rollins College from 2004 to 2018. He joined the Department of English at Michigan State University in the Fall of 2018. With a joint appointment in the Department of History and as core faculty in Consortium for Critical Diversity in a Digital Age Research (CEDAR) he teaches courses exploring critical making, comics, and culture in the United States. In 2019, Dr. Chambliss joined the MSU Museum as Val Berryman Curator of History. As a teacher-scholar concerned with community, identity, and power, he designs generative digital projects that use the classroom as a platform for students to act as co-researchers to trace community development, document diverse experience and explore culture. He has been recognized for his community engagement work with a Rollins College Cornell Distinguished Service Award (2014-2015) and Florida Campus Compact Service Learning Faculty Award (2011). Chambliss is one of the producers of "Every Tongue Got To Confess," a podcast exploring the experiences and stories of communities of color.
Dr. Angel David Nieves
Ángel David Nieves is Professor of Africana Studies, History, Digital Humanities, and English, and Director of Public Humanities at Northeastern University. Nieves is the author and co-editor of two historical monographs, including An Architecture of Education: African American Women Design the New South (2018) and ‘We Shall Independent Be:’ African American Place Making and the Struggle to Claim Space in the U.S. (w/Alexander, 2008). Nieves recently completed a new volume in the Debates in the Digital Humanities Series (w/Senier & McGrail), People, Practice, Power: Digital Humanities Outside the Center (December 2021).
Dr. Nieves’s scholarship focuses on the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and technology in the U.S. and South Africa, and is in the vanguard of digital history publications and experimental online publishing platforms. Nieves has received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC), and Yale University. He is currently working on a digital book project, Apartheid Heritage(s): A Spatial History of South Africa’s Black Townships, that combines human rights violations testimony and 3D reconstruction technologies of sites destroyed by the apartheid-era regime.
Dr. Vidhu Aggarwal
Vidhu Aggarwal is a Professor of English at Rollins College, with specialties in visual culture and Anglophone literature.. Her poetry and multimedia practices engage with world-building, video, and graphic media, drawing mythic schemas from popular culture, science, and ancient texts. Her poetry book, The Trouble with Humpadori (2016), imagines a cosmic mythological space for marginalized transnational subjects. Avatara, a chapbook from Portable @Yo-Yo Labs Press, is situated in a post-apocalyptic gaming world where AIs play at being gods.
She has published in The Boston Review, Black Warrior Review, Aster(ix) Journal, Poemelon, Leonardo, among other journals. She is currently engaging in a “cloud poetics,” as a way of thinking about personal, collective, and digital archives as a collaborative process with comic artists, dancers, and video artists. Her most recent work, Daughter Isotope (The Operating System, 2021), is a book of “hybrid” poems that speaks to multiple iterations of “daughter” tropes across generations, national borders, and timescales. Central to the question of the Daughter Isotope is: What is a collective archive? within a global, disparate, migrant cultural space. DI is organized in a series of four “clouds,” calling up the vague, penetrable borders of our digital lives, both searching and searchable.
Dr. Qiana Whitted
Qiana Whitted is Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina. A graduate of Hampton University with a PhD from Yale University, her research and teaching focus on Black literary and cultural studies, and American comics and graphic novels. She is the author of the 2020 Eisner Award-winning book, EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest, the 2009 book, “A God of Justice?”: The Problem of Evil in Twentieth-Century Black Literature, and co-editor of the 2012 essay collection on Comics and the U.S. South. She is currently editing a collection of essays on blackness in early American comics. She is also the editor of Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society and chair of the International Comic Arts Forum.
Dr. Tamar Boyadjian
Tamar Boyadjian is an Associate Professor of Medieval Literature at Michigan State University. Her research and teaching interests focus on medieval literature and culture. She is also interested in Medievalism –particularly the expression of beliefs and practices of the Middle Ages in contemporary art, film, and pop culture. Her current book project, The City Lament: Jerusalem in Crusading Narrative, examines the re-presentation of the city of Jerusalem in narratives produced during the crusades in the English, French, Latin, Arabic, and Armenian traditions.
In addition to her book project, she is working on a study of the representations of peoples of the “east” –such as the Armenians, Arabs, Mongols, and “Saracens” –in medieval English literature, and the ways in which the literary sources of the “east” characterize England and Western Europe. For several years, she has also been involved with a number of digital humanities projects, which seek to not only digitize and archive medieval manuscripts from various institutions in the US, Europe, and the Middle East, but also attempt to expose cultural and literary exchange –a s well as trace the trajectory of textual transmission- between medieval Europe and the medieval Middle East.
Dr. Alex Zamalin
Alex Zamalin is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of African American Studies Program at University of Detroit Mercy. He is the author of five books: African American Political Thought and American Culture: The Nation's Struggle for Racial Justice (New York: Palgrave, 2015), Struggle on their Minds: The Political Thought of African American Resistance (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017), Antiracism: An Introduction (NYU Press, 2019) and Black Utopia: The History of an Idea from Black Nationalism to Afrofuturism (Columbia University Press, 2019) which was named a 2020 Choice Outstanding Title by the American Library Association.
Zamalin's most recent book is Against Civility: The Hidden Racism in Our Obsession with Civility (Beacon, 2021). He is co-editor for a collection of scholarly essays aimed at reinterpreting the American political tradition, American Political Thought: An Alternative View (New York: Routledge, 2017). His scholarly essays have appeared in various edited book collections and journals like New Political Science, Contemporary Political Theory and Political Theory. Zamalin has been a guest on NPR and MSNBC and his work has been featured in The Guardian, ESPN's Undefeated, the Christian Science Monitor and YES! magazine. His newest book with Beacon Press is titled All is Not Lost: 20 Ways to Revolutionize Disaster, and is scheduled for publication in spring 2022.
Dr. Stacey Robinson
Stacey Robinson is an illustrator, graphic designer, and Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Illinois. His latest graphic novel, with writer Tony Medina, is I Am Alfonso Jones, one of the first graphic novels for young readers to focus on police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. He is also the co-illustrator, with John Jennings, of Prison Industrial Complex For Beginners. As an Arthur Schomburg fellow, he completed his Masters of Fine Art at the University at Buffalo. Stacey’s artwork discusses ideas of “Black Utopias” as decolonized spaces of peace by considering Black affluent, self-sustaining communities, Black protest movements and the art that documents them. As part of the collaborative team, “Black Kirby”, Stacey and John Jennings create graphic novels, gallery exhibitions and lectures that deconstruct the work of artist Jack Kirby to re-imagine Black resistance spaces inspired by Black diasporic cultures.
Dr. John Jennings
John Jennings is a professor, author, graphic novelist, curator, Harvard Fellow, New York Times Bestseller, 2018 Eisner Winner, and all-around champion of Black culture. As Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California at Riverside (UCR), Jennings examines the visual culture of race in various media forms including film, illustrated fiction, and comics and graphic novels. He is also the director of Abrams ComicArts imprint Megascope, which publishes graphic novels focused on the experiences of people of color. His research interests include the visual culture of Hip Hop, Afrofuturism and politics, Visual Literacy, Horror, and the EthnoGothic, and Speculative Design and its applications to visual rhetoric. Jennings is co-editor of the 2016 Eisner Award-winning collection The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art (Rutgers) and co-founder/organizer of The Schomburg Center’s Black Comic Book Festival in Harlem. He is co-founder and organizer of the MLK NorCal’s Black Comix Arts Festival in San Francisco and also SOL-CON: The Brown and Black Comix Expo at the Ohio State University.
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