The State of Black Studies:

Methodology, Pedagogy, and Research


2003 Actual Conference

The conference was organized by the African American Studies Program at Princeton University and co-sponsored by: the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the CUNY Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC). The conference took place in New York City, February 6-8, 2003.  The key organizers were Howard Dodson (Schomburg), Colin Palmer (Princeton), and James De Jongh (CUNY).  There were 1200 conference participants, 125 speakers, in 27 sessions over three days.

2005 Virtual Conference

The Spiders of the eBlack Studies project (under the direction of Abdul Alkalimat) located at the University of Toledo organized the digitization of the documentation of the actual conference to create this virtual conference.  This is the first project to present a digital archive of a full conference in any discipline.

COOPERATING INSTITUTIONS

Central Michigan State University Professor Robert Newby
Florida State University Professor Patrick Mason
Knox College Professor Fred Hoard
Northeastern University Professor Ron Bailey
Seton Hall University Professor William Sales
The College of New Jersey Professor Gloria Dickinson
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Professor Sundiata Cha Jua
University of Toledo Professor Abdul Alkalimat

 

Conference Attendance

When the conference was held in 2003, about 1200 people attended over a three-day period.  This number is on the site.  We also have a counter to indicate how many people have attended the conference virtually.  

Method

The general approach of digitizing all forms of documentation about past events is something we call cyberresurrection.  The students in Africana Studies at the University of Toledo are called Spiders in their capacity as research assistants because they help us spin the webs for eBlack Studies.  We use low cost equipment, and are willing to assist any Black Studies Program interested in developing their eBlack Studies capacity.

Take in an entire session.  Assemble your own virtual panel by listening to just those speakers you want to hear at any particular time or for any particular purpose.

Our Past:
Actual Conferences

We have been having conferences since Black Studies began in the late 1960ís.  There are audiotapes and film of many of these conferences.  This is true for specific programs as well as national organizations.  This material is hard to access and often used only by specialists.  Moreover, the tape has started to deteriorate.  Anything that any of us have from the 1960ís is in danger.  It is time to clean out the storage areas and protect our historical documentation.

Our Future:
Virtual Conferences

The virtual conference can become a major part of the public sphere in the 21st century.  This can unite the campus and the community in a free flow of information.  The virtual conference can be the best connection for current research, and curriculum material as well.  This is a great professional resource as well, for the job market (candidates as well as hiring departments) and as a new standard for conference proceedings.

H-Afro-Am

H-Afro-Am is the major listserv in the field of Africana Studies, with over 2,000 subscribers.  We can use this list to reflect on this virtual conference project and its tremendous content.  It is available for a free subscription: <http://www.h-net.org/~afro-am/>