Present Encounters: Digital Humanities Meet Afrofuturism

Present Encounters: Digital Humanities Meet Afrofuturism

Digital humanities offer a continuously evolving set of tools to challenge the traditional ways of managing and promoting the use of data, from creation to discovery to reuse. Afrofuturism is a reimagining of time and space as they relate to Black art, history, and culture, through fantasy and/or technology to speculate about the future. This symposium invites scholars, artists, and other practitioners to share their work as it relates to the Afrofuturist aesthetic and Black digital humanities practices to speculate about the future of cultural heritage preservation.

This is a multi-day, in-person event at Charles Library (1900 N. 13th Street) and the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection (Sullivan Hall, 1330 Polett Walk). Check the registration listings for each day’s schedule of events, which will be updated as the event nears.

You may drop into any session throughout the two days. Recordings of the sessions will be posted on about a week after the event. You may register to receive links to these recordings following the event, even if you do not plan to attend in person. However, registration is not required to watch at the link above.

Our programs are geared toward a general audience and are open to all, including Temple students, faculty, staff, alumni, neighbors, and friends. Registration is encouraged.

If you would also like to register for the Friday sessions of this event, go to:


  • 9:30am–10:00am: Coffee available for attendees with an opening performance
    • Charles Library event space and patio
  • 10:00am–10:45am: Welcome remarks by Joseph P. Lucia, dean of Temple University Libraries; Keynote Address by Dr. Reynaldo Anderson, associate professor of Africology and African American Studies: “Afrofuturism: The Second Race for Theory”
    • Charles Library event space
  • 11:15am–12:00pm: Discussion with curator, art director, illustrator Eric Battle, and illustrators Damali Beatty and Nilé Livingston for the Black Lives Always Mattered!: Hidden African American Philadelphia of the Twentieth Century original graphic novel moderated by Dr. Aaron X. Smith, assistant professor of Africology and African American Studies
    • Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection
  • 12:00pm–1:30pm: Lunch break
  • 1:30pm–3:30pm: Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio project presentations in the Scholars Studio Innovation Lab 
    • “Diggin’ Philly: The Black Philadelphia Project” by Tauheedah Shukriyyah Asad, doctoral student at the Klein College of Media and Communications and graduate student fellow at the Scholars Studio
    • “Sacred Geographic Superimpositions: A Reimagining of Public Art, for Us by Us, as Sacred Spaces” by Dr. Synatra Smith, CLIR/DLF postdoctoral fellow in data curation for African American studies at the Scholars Studio
    • “Visualizing Wikidata: Using Python to Analyze Identity and Representation in Wikidata about Black Art Exhibitions” by jay winkler, assistant archivist at the ICPSR at the University of Michigan and 2021 LEADING fellow at the Scholars Studio
  • 3:30pm–3:50pm: Coffee break with entertainment
    • Charles Library event space and patio
  • 4:00pm–5:00pm: Networking reception with light refreshments
    • Charles Library event space

Contact with questions.

Thursday, April 21, 2022
9:30am - 5:00pm
Charles Library Event Space
Registration has closed.