Dr. Kaiama Glover’s Digital Humanities Projects is Crossing Cultures and Borders

By Annabelle Smith | Staff Writer, Cartoonist and Webmaster

3 mins read

A top humanities scholar visited Drew on Feb. 28, as part of Black History Month, to discuss her interactive web project ‘In The Same Boats,’ which is designed to map the international travels of Caribbean intellectuals in history.

The project is the most recent work of Dr. Kaiama Glover, a professor of French and Africana Studies and faculty director of the Humanities Center at Barnard College and Columbia University.

Photo courtesy of the Center for Civic Engagement.

Drew’s Pan-African Studies, Women and Gender Studies and Digital Humanities departments joint-hosted Glover’s lecture, in which she described her four previous digital projects, all of which focus on expanding the digital archive of the study of Caribbean history and influential Caribbean intellectuals. The programs varied in terms of traditional academic content (a constant push and pull familiar to those in Caribbean studies), but each pushed the boundaries of what the term “digital humanities” can mean as an academic tool. 

Glover’s first project, a collaborative poetry analysis for instrumental Caribbean poet Aimé Césaire (which can be found on the website cesairelegacies), was created in 2013, years before Zoom or Google Meet conferences had even been developed.

Her latest and ongoing project is a website titled “In The Same Boats.” Its purpose is to provide a map that digitally catalogs the worldly travels of individual Caribbean intellectuals and also pinpoints where some of these intellectuals may have intersected and collaborated. 

The website features an interactive world map that allows users to choose a time, place and person on which to focus. This innovative project greatly increases accessibility to Caribbean history and also allows for communicative work across countries. 

This international connection, Glover explained, is especially important in the often-underappreciated Caribbean studies. The reach of Dr. Glover’s programs continues to expand across the globe, the most recent example being a conference on Caribbean studies at the University of Puerto Rico.

Dr. Glover’s lecture was a wonderful end to Drew’s month-long celebration of Black history, but education on this topic should not stop here. The expansion of the Pan-African Studies program is an ongoing project, so be sure to keep an eye out for future lectures and learning opportunities.

Annabelle Smith is a first-year student majoring in studio art.

Featured image courtesy of the Center for Civic Engagement.

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