Speakers

Brigitte Fielder

Brigitte Fielder is an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of Relative Races: Genealogies of Interracial Kinship in Nineteenth-Century America (Duke University Press, 2020) and coeditor of Against a Sharp White Background: Infrastructures of African American Print (University of Wisconsin Press, 2019). She is currently writing a book about racialized human-animal relationships in the long nineteenth century which shows how childhood becomes a key site for (often simultaneous) humanization and racialization. Fielder has conducted workshops for staff and faculty across disciplines on topics such as antiracist pedagogy, scholarship, and colleagueship, and on best practices for mentoring across positions of difference.

Ryan Fong

Ryan D. Fong is an associate professor of English at Kalamazoo College, where he also directs the Women, Gender and Sexuality program. Trained as a Victorianist, he teaches classes in nineteenth and twentieth-century British literature, which routinely focus on issues of empire, race, sexuality, and gender. Dr. Fong’s first monograph, Unsettling: Indigenous Literatures and the Work of Victorian Studies, is under contract with SUNY Press. An excerpt from this project on Khoisan oral culture and Olive Schriener’s The Story of an African Farm recently appeared in the “Undisciplining Victoran Studies” special issue of Victorian Studies.  He was also a co-editor on a special issue of Victorian Literature and Culture on “The Wide Nineteenth Century.”  In addition to these publications, he is one of the organizers of the digital humanities project Undisciplining the Victorian Classroom, and co-organizing the upcoming Dickens Universe conference in 2022 on David Copperfield and Iola Leroy. Finally, he is currently in the middle of a a two-year fellowship at Kalamazoo College’s Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, where he is working on projects to center indigeneity in the curriculum and to build better and more ethical relationships with the local Potawatomi tribes of Michigan.

Marisa J. Fuentes

Marisa J. Fuentes is the Presidential Term Chair in African American History and Associate Professor of History and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University—New Brunswick. Her scholarship explores historical methods, gender, slavery, and archives of the early modern Caribbean and Atlantic world. Fuentes is the author of Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016) which won book prizes from the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, the Association of Black Women Historians and the Caribbean Studies Association. She is also co-editor of History of the Present’s special issue on “Slavery’s Archive, (2016)” and Scarlet and Black: Slavery and Dispossession in Rutgers History, Volumes 1-3 (Rutgers University Press, 2016-2021). Fuentes’s recent publications include essays in Small Axe, Diacritics, and English Language Notes. Her next project will explore the connections between racial capitalism, the transatlantic slave trade, and the disposability of black lives in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Jessica Marie Johnson

Jessica Marie Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the Johns Hopkins University. Johnson is a historian of Atlantic slavery and the Atlantic African diaspora and the author of Wicked Flesh: Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World (University of Pennsylvania Press, August 2020). She is co-editor with Lauren Tilton and David Mmimo of Debates in the Digital Humanities: Computational Humanities (University of Minnesota Press). She is guest editor of Slavery in the Machine, a special issue of archipelagos journal (2019) and co-editor with Dr. Mark Anthony Neal (Duke University) of Black Code: A Special Issue of the Black Scholar (2017).  Her work has appeared in Slavery & Abolition, The Black Scholar, Meridians: Feminism, Race and Transnationalism, American Quarterly, Social Text, The Journal of African American History, The William & Mary Quarterly, Debates in the Digital Humanities, Forum Journal, Bitch Magazine, Black Perspectives (AAIHS), Somatosphere, and Post-Colonial Digital Humanities (DHPoco) and her book chapters have appeared in multiple edited collections.

Jazzmen Lee-Johnson

Jazzmen Lee-Johnson is a visual artist, scholar, composer, and curator. Her practice centers on the interplay of animation, printmaking, music, and dance, informed by a yearning to understand how our current circumstance is tethered to the trauma of the past. Through her visual, sonic, and movement investigations across time and technology she disrupts and asserts ideas of history, body, liberation, and otherness. She received her BFA in Film, Animation, and Video at RISD, her MA in Public Humanities at Brown University, and a heavy dose of education working with youth in Baltimore, South Africa, and New York City. She has curated exhibitions at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; Artist Proof Studio and the ABSA Art Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa; RISD Museum; and Brown University Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, where she was also a Public History of Slavery Fellow. She was the 2019 inaugural Artist in Residence at the Rhode Island Department of Health utilizing the arts to confront health disparities and shape health equity. She is currently a music mentor to teens at New Urban Arts and the 2020/ 21-ish Artist Fellow at the RISD Museum, creating work in response to the collection. She is always eager to radically reimagine the possibilities of the present by disturbing fixed notions of the past, and conjuring a future that might come to be.

Hilary Nicholson

Hilary Nicholson has has worked for over 30 years in the Jamaican and Caribbean movement for women’s rights and gender justice, as an advocate, trainer, researcher and lecturer. She was active with the pioneering Sistren Theatre Collective from its inception and then moved on to become a founding member of Women’s Media Watch (re-branded in 2012 as WMW-Jamaica), a non-profit organization promoting gender equality and the reduction of gender-based violence. At the Caribbean School for Media and Communications (University of the West Indies) Hilary teaches the course ‘”Media, Gender and Development.” She has been a guest presenter at fora in London, New York, Brussels, Mexico City, Havana and many other Caribbean countries. In the mid 1990s, Hilary co-founded Video for Change, a small film production company, and has produced some twenty-five documentaries on Jamaican history,  heritage and social development, using drama and a creative gender lens to bring legendary figures to life.  Hilary also continues to be active in the world of theatre, more onstage than offstage, and has performed to critical acclaim in a diverse range of productions. 

Samantha Pinto

Samantha Pinto is Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Difficult Diasporas: The Transnational Feminist Aesthetic of the Black Atlantic (NYU Press, 2013) and Infamous Bodies: Early Black Women’s Celebrity and the Afterlives of Rights (Duke UP, 2020). She also co-edited Writing Beyond the State (Palgrave, 2020) with Alexandra S. Moore. She is currently working on a third book, Under the Skin, on race, embodiment, and scientific discourse in African American and African Diaspora culture, as well as a book of essays on feminist ambivalence.


This year’s speakers have been sponsored by the University of Georgia’s Colloquium in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Literature, which is supported by UGA’s Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, as well as by the English Department’s Rodney Baine Lecture Fund. Brigitte Fielder’s Antiracist Pedagogy Workshop was co-sponsored by the British Women Writers Association.

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