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 Thursday sessions of this event, go to:


  • 9:30–10:00am: Coffee available for attendees 
    • Charles Library event space and patio
  • 10:00–10:50am: “Virtual Blockson” presentation with Jasmine Lelis Clark, digital scholarship and Africology and African American studies librarian at Temple University Libraries moderated by Dr. Amari Johnson, assistant professor of Africology and African American studies
    •  Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection
  • 10:50–11:10am: Coffee break with entertainment
    • Charles Library event space and patio
  • 11:10am–12:00pm: “Lasting Truths: Lessons from Black Speculative Future” by Dr. Clayton D. Colmon Jr., associate director of Instructional Design for the Arts & Sciences Online Learning team at the University of Pennsylvania moderated by Jazmin Evans, doctoral student in the Department of Africology and African American Studies
    • Charles Library event space
  • 12:00–1:30pm: Lunch break
  • 1:30–2:40pm: 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
  • 2:40–3:30pm: “#BlackGamersMatter: Gaming and the Black Imaginary” by Dr. Grace D. Gipson, assistant professor of African American studies at Virginia Commonwealth University moderated by Richard J. Watson, curator of exhibits and artist in residence at the African American Museum in Philadelphia
    • Charles Library event space
  • 3:30–3:50pm: Coffee break with entertainment
    • Charles Library atrium and patio
  • 3:50–4:40pm: Presentation by Dr. Kim Gallon, associate professor of history at Purdue University moderated by Ivan Henderson, director of the Mitchell Center for African American Heritage at the Delaware Historical Society
    • Charles Library event space
  • 4:40–5:00pm: Closing Remarks with Dr. Molefi Kete Asante, professor and chair of Africology and African American studies
    • Charles Library event space

Contact with questions.

Friday, April 22, 2022
9:30am - 5:00pm
Charles Library Event Space
Registration has closed.