As a public and digital historian, my work explores how and why groups and individuals reimagine the spaces around them to create new urban futures. I am particularly interested in examining the concept of reimagining through the unique historical, geographic and methodological perspectives posed by African Diasporic and or Black Atlantic communities both past and present. As Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities and New Media in History at California State University, Fullerton, I lead the History department’s digital humanities initiatives which include organizing a regular DH colloquium series, hosting a DH student Symposium, facilitating a six-week DH professional development workshop for master’s students, and teaching introductory and advanced practicum courses in Digital History.
Before pursuing my doctorate in Cultural Studies at the University of California, Davis, I worked at the Museum of African American History in Boston (2003-2004) where I first developed a passion for public history. I currently direct the public digital humanities project, Mapping Arts OC, which launched in 2018 and maps public art and underrepresented artists in Orange County. I also served as co-curator and head digital curator of the Restoration and Reunion exhibit currently on display at the Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport CT. This groundbreaking exhibit brings scholars and artist together for the first time to interpret the history of a forgotten nineteenth century African diasporic historic site.
My current research employs critical place-making and comparative urbanism to explore how contemporary urban environments in the Black Atlantic can become historically sustainable. In particular I investigate how the forgotten footprints of urban neighborhoods can be harnessed to reimagine post-colonial and or post-industrial landscapes, and empower underserved residents to build more sustainable urban futures. I am also invested in working collaboratively and across disciplinary specialties to develop new methods of creating and supporting historically sustainable urban communities.
My work has received generous support from the National Science Foundation’s Geography and Spatial Sciences Program, The California Humanities, The Graham Foundation for Advanced Study in Fine Art, The Social Science Research Council and several internal awards from California State University Fullerton.