Digital Publishing:

Digital Publishing, an initiative from the History of Black Writing (HBW) at the University of Kansas. BBIP-SP: Digital Publishing is a stipend program designed for higher education professionals, graduate students, and scholars who have been actively working with Black literature and have a digital humanities (DH) project that is nearing the publication stage. A Digital Humanities Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with the Mellon-funded AFRO Publishing Without Walls 2 (AFRO PWW 2) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, will support this phase of the Black Book Interactive Project, Building Literacy and Curating Critical Cultural Knowledge in Digital Humanities [BLACK DH].


    Valerie Rose Kelco is a Ph.D. student, teaching assistant, research assistant, and graduate assistant for the English department at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Her research concentration is African American literature with a focus on southern women’s writing engaging with the body and the environment. Her digital skills and interests intersect with her research and inspire her projects and pedagogy. Recent fellowship and institute opportunities with the National Endowment for the Humanities "Hurston on the Horizon" Summer Institute-2021, the National Humanities Center Graduate Student Summer Residency-2019, and the University of Pennsylvania Summer DReAM Lab-2019 (Digital Resources and Methods) provided training and experience with Arc-GIS spatial mapping technology and augmented reality applications to digitally enhance her scholarly work and pedagogy by creating digital open educational resources.

    Sondra Bickham Washington, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of American Literature at Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University. She specializes in 19th and 20th century African American literature, particularly focusing on literary treatments of black girlhood and the ways that race, gender, and trauma affect African American female children and adolescent characters. Washington also founded The Black Girlhood Project, a digital humanities resource designed to enhance the emerging interdisciplinary field of black girlhood studies and to offer scholars and researchers a centralized location for networking and information on black girls. 
  • SHERRY JOHNSON Grand Valley State University

    Dr. Sherry Johnson tells stories that engage memory and Black writing between Canada and the United States. She is a writer, researcher, and scholar of literature, particularly at the intersection of Black women's lives and their writing, African American visual culture, and the digital humanities. An associate professor and a graduate program administrator, Dr. Johnson teaches courses in African American literature, Multicultural American literature, neo-slave narratives, and critical approaches to literary study.

    Rochelle is author of AfroSurrealism: The African Diaspora's Surrealist Fiction (Routledge 2019)  and The Rat People (The Fantasist 2017), and co-editor, with Jina Ortiz, of All About Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color (University of Wisconsin 2014).  A Pushcart Prize nominee, her work appears in The Crab Creek Review, The Believer, TriQuarterly, Callaloo, the African American Review, Solstice, Poets and Writers, Lithub, The Jamaican Observer, The Carbon Culture Review, The East Bay Review, Eleven Eleven, Ms., Mosaic, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Hip Hop, The Millions, Graveyard Shift Sisters, Terrain, and Art Practical. Rochelle is an alum of the Clarion West Workshop taught by K. Tempest Bradford and Nisi Shawl and a National Black Writers Conference workshop taught by Victor LaValle, and her curatorial work includes the NEA-funded Let’s Play exhibition and the Digital Literature Garden. Co-founder of AWAKE Literary Management and a founding member of the AfroSurreal Writers Workshop, Rochelle is a former board member of the Hurston Wright Foundation, a former Vermont Studio Center fellow, and a current member of the National Book Critics Circle and The Clearing, the collective founded by Serena Simpson. Writers interested in representation or collaboration can connect at
  • NAAJIDAH CORRELL Sarah Lawrence College

    Naajidah is an artist, writer, and educator pursuing English Graduate Studies. She has a passion for working with youth and culturally responsive teaching. These points of care are reflected through her organizing, research, and workshop facilitations which utilize community-engaged and participatory research methods as well as digital humanities. As a recording and performance artist, Naajidah views creative research and technology as tools that allow for collective healing, knowledge production, and refusal.
  • MICHELLE GIBBS Illinois Wesleyan University

    Dr. Michelle Cowin Gibbs, Ph.D., M.F.A., is an assistant professor and head of the B.A. program in Theatre Arts at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL. Her scholarly research interests include a spectrum of interdisciplinary studies in Black theatre and dance studies and solo autoethnographic performance. Michelle has publications in the Black Theatre Review; the Journal of American Drama and Theatre; Cultural Studies – Critical Methodologies; and book chapters in Impacting Theatre Audiences: Methods for Studying Change (Routledge 2022); Hurston in Context (forthcoming Routledge 2023); and Enveloping Worlds (forthcoming 2023). As a Zora Neale Hurston scholar, Michelle is interested in tracing the relationship between Hurston’s work as an anthropologist, ethnographer, and playwright. Her current work is a digital project that cross-references Hurston’s play text, personal narratives, anthropology, and ethnographic works to examine perceptions of early twentieth-century Black women identities.

    Marina del Sol is a Master Instructor in the English Department at Howard University. She received a Ph.D. in Folklore and Anthropology from the Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies at The University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies from the University of California at Berkeley.  As a digital humanities scholar, Dr. del Sol’s work focuses on citizenship in the public sphere.  During the spring of 2021, she served as an Expert Specialist for “Ensuring Scholarly Access to Digital Records,” hosted by Virginia Tech and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).  Her current project, “Zora Neale Hurston:  A Pre-Research Guide,” focuses on archival research, cultural documentation, and ethnographic writing.

    M’Balia Thomas is Assistant Professor at the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Kansas. She is an Applied Linguist and TESOL teacher educator. She writes on the everyday creativity of non-native and non-standard varieties of American English.
  • LAVONDA KAY BROADNAX Library of Congress

    Lavonda Kay Broadnax’s primary research interest is the diverse set of literature written by African American women who lived during the U.S. Civil War. Her initial compilation, of the online version of these works, was the catalyst for her to win the Zora Neale Hurston Award. This award is given by the American Library Association for leadership in promoting African-American literature. The compilation has been expanded and now resides on the Library of Congress website @ African American Women Authors of the Civil War Era: A Resource Guide. Ms. Broadnax was a successful participant of the Black Book Interactive Project's Scholars III (2022). She earned her B.A. from Oberlin College and her M.S.L.S. from Case Western Reserve University.
  • LA TANYA ROGERS Fisk University

    La Tanya L. Reese Rogers, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Literature and drama and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Honors Program at Fisk University. She holds a doctorate degree in literature and drama from Howard University and two bachelor’s degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, where she won the coveted Mellon Mays Fellowship. Dr. Rogers is a co-founder of the Edward Alexander Bouchét National Graduate Honor Society, which has chapters at Yale, Stanford, and other prominent universities across the nation. She is the faculty advisor to the 2022 Battle of the Brains national championship team from Fisk University where she is a faculty member in the English Discipline. In previous roles, La Tanya Rogers served as a Communications Coordinator for the financial firm, A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc.; a translator for the United States Embassy in Madrid, Spain; an assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of the District of Columbia; and a performance-review board member at the US Department of State and the US Department of Commerce. She has led nearly 100 undergraduate students on study abroad tours to countries such as France, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, and Egypt. She has lived, researched, and worked in São Paulo, Brazil, and Madrid, Spain. She is a published author on subjects ranging from contemporary playwrights in the United States to economic racism in Brazil. During 2022, Dr. Rogers participated in the NEH-sponsored Born-Digital Scholarly Publishing Institute at Brown University. During that Institute, she resolved to collaborate with the Brown University Digital Publications team to increase the prestige and popularity of digital scholarship among university faculties. As a result, her latest article on dramatic literature has appeared in the Black Theatre Review (tBTR)—a national, refereed, digital journal. Moreover, she is a featured faculty member on a grant partnership that focuses on HBCU library involvement in digital scholarship. Dr. Rogers is currently working on a manuscript that outlines a theoretical trope in the plays written by Pulitzer-Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks. This manuscript is a digital publication with a print compendium.
  • KYMBERLY KEETON University of North Texas

    Kymberly Keeton is a native Texan, a nationally published writer, an art librarian & archivist, and genealogy curator. By day, the ALA Emerging Leader and Library Journal 2020 Mover & Shaker is the Chief Artistic Officer of NOVELLA MEDIA, LLC a creative information agency, and the Director of ART | library deco a virtual African American Art Library, Gallery, and Repository. Currently, the writer is pursuing a Ph.D. in Information Science, Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of North Texas. Her research interests are in African American Community Archives, Autoethnography, and Social Ecology. The creative interdisciplinary mixologist can be seen on the regular with her dog, Roxy Blue. And if nothing else, Keeton is always taking time to read books, write hooks, and design the next… Visit My Doctoral Blog  Participate: Dissertation Survey
  • KOLE ODUTOLA University of Florida

    My intellectual interest and practice span a range of interlocking disciplines. My first degree is in Botany with interest in ecology and genetics. Thereafter, I changed from the natural sciences to social sciences and finally to language teaching. My educational background also spans three continents; namely Africa, Europe and the Americas. Learning from these three continents has given me different resources from which to draw from. My teaching of Yoruba language is also enhanced because I am a native speaker of the language and a close watcher of its diverse cultures and modes of creative expressions.  My secondary interest is in the intersection of Yoruba language in a global world with media studies. In addition, my science background and expertise in media production (Radio, TV, and Moviemaking) play a role in how I present my materials in class. I am a storyteller who has been invited to different events as a performer and as a workshop participant. In effect, my areas of specialization include: language teaching (which I started from Rutgers University in 2001), media studies and media production (which has helped in the production of audiovisual materials).
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