Researching Rebellions in the African Diaspora

Professors Heidi Kaufman and Faith Barter win a coveted I3 grant for studying black rebellions in the long ninetheenth century

Professors Heidi Kaufman and Faith Barter are among a team of researchers - also including Leslie Alexander (History), Thien Nguyen (CIS), and Thanh Nguyen (CIS) - who have won a 2019 Incubating Interdisciplinary Initiatives Award for "Rebellions in the African Diaspora Project: Black Rebellions in the Long Nineteenth Century," a digital humanities project that studies patterns in the representation of slave insurgency.

The award, commonly known as an I3 grant, offers critical seed funding of up to $50,000 for collaborative projects that show promise for securing external funding. The award is conferred by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. 

Below is an abstract of the team's project:

The subject of slavery has long been positioned at the center of scholarly work on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century African Diaspora culture. While scholars have uniformly turned to questions of resistance and rebellion in studies of the United States and the Caribbean, typically our methodological and disciplinary boundaries have siloed scholarly work from these fields. This structural gap not only impedes cross-cultural analysis, but hinders the study of individual colonies or nations in their regional or global contexts.
 
Drawing from library databases, the RAD Project redresses these problems by using metadata and data visualizations to study the patterns of discourse of Black rebellions; how rebellion writing moved across boundaries and places in nineteenth-century print culture throughout the Atlantic world; and the means by which Black rebellions demanded equality by drawing from global literary, political, religious, and legal culture.
 
We will work with an Advisory Board, UO Libraries, and students across campus to build a platform for the study of African Diaspora Rebellions. We will focus on the nineteenth-century periodical press in particular, as it functioned as a venue for non-fiction articles as well as fiction, poetry, letters to editors, political commentary, and reprints of literary and legal texts. 
 
The RAD Project promises to be a centerpiece scholarly production that will draw strong faculty and graduate students to our university, while making visible UO’s strengths in African American culture, Afro-Caribbean culture, Digital Humanities, and Data Sciences.

Professor Kaufman's research interests include nineteenth-century British literature, digital humanities, print and material culture, and visual culture. Professor Barter's work in African American literaure and culture centers on legal representations of personhood.

Please join us in congratulating the team on this astounding work!