5th Annual Kamau Brathwaite Lecture in Cultural Studies: Kelly Baker Josephs


Kelly Baker Josephs is the speaker for the Fifth Annual Kamau Brathwaite Lecture in Cultural Studies. She will deliver “Inna de Digital Yaad: Brathwaitian Models of Engagement” on January 31, 2019, at 7:00pm, at the 3W’s Pavilion, University of the West Indies-Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.

Description: For this lecture, Professor Kelly Baker Josephs will discuss Kamau Brathwaite’s ground-breaking and continuingly relevant work on Caribbean aesthetics, in particular his experiments with digital technology. Dr. Josephs will present a combination of selections from her research projects that either focus on Kamau Brathwaite’s work directly or grow from a career-long engagement with it. She will begin with Brathwaite’s Sycorax Video Style, taking a look at his early usage of digital technology to express Caribbeanness in his poetry and demonstrating why his approach to cultural production (as both a poet and a critic) makes his work so rich for digital studies. Dr. Josephs will then focus on her own work on what she calls “Digital Yards,” discussing how Brathwaite’s conception of Caribbean cosmology informs her framework for Caribbean interaction and creation in the digital space.

Kelly Baker Josephs is associate professor of English at York College, City University of New York and associate professor of Digital Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center. She specializes in World Anglophone Literature with an emphasis on Caribbean Literature and teaches courses in Anglophone Caribbean Literature and Theory, Literatures of the African Diaspora, Gender Studies, and Digital Humanities. Josephs was the 2016-17 Sterling Brown Professor of Africana Studies at Williams College and is currently a Scholar-in-Residence at the NYPL Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, where she is conducting archival research on Kamau Brathwaite. Her book, Disturbers of the Peace: Representations of Insanity in Anglophone Caribbean Literature (2013), considers the ubiquity of madmen and madwomen in Caribbean literature between 1959 and 1980. She is currently working on two book projects: an edited collection for the Debates in the Digital Humanities series, titled The Digital Black Atlantic and co-edited with Roopika Risam, and a monograph, titled Caribbean Articulations: Storytelling in a Digital Age, that explores the intersections between new technologies and Caribbean cultural production. Josephs is the editor of sx salon: a small axe literary platform and manages The Caribbean Commons website.

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