Episode 8 | The Nexus: Amir Hall and Marisa Parham

Today’s episode is going to take the shape of a slightly different format. It will be a conversation between myself, Amir Hall, and Dr. Marisa Parham. We discuss identity as expressed through our engagement with various digital media. The conversation takes a look at how digital technology has allowed us to transcend time and space and reinvent ourselves in virtual worlds.

 

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Photography of Marisa Parham by Ryan Donnelly, 2014. Photography of Amir Hall by Suelyn Choo and Alex Girvan from "City Gait," 2021.

Amir Hall feels freest, when dancing, writing or dreaming up stories to tell, he tells them in whichever form they ask, always, always with the intention of sharing the feeling of freedom. He considers all his works to be love offerings to his people; himself and his people: the poor, the black, the queer and the Creole.These days you can catch him reading and writing books for his MFA in Fiction at NYU. When he’s not studying, he works closely with artist Sonya Clark on the Solidarity Book Project

Marisa Parham is Visiting Professor of English at the University of Maryland, where she serves as director for the African American Digital Humanities initiative (AADHUM), and is the associate director for the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH). She also co-directs the Immersive Realities Lab for the Humanities, which is an independent workgroup for digital and experimental humanities (irLhumanities).

Parham’s current teaching and research projects focus on texts and technologies that problematize assumptions about time, space, and bodily materiality. She is currently developing Black Haints in the Anthropocene, a book-length interactive project that focuses on memory, haunting, digitality, and Black environmental experience.

Parham holds a PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. From 2001 – 2020 she served as Professor of English, Faculty Diversity and Inclusion officer, and Mellon Mays program advisor at Amherst College. From 2013-2017, she was the director (2013-2017) of Five College Digital Humanities, serving Amherst, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, and University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

About the Show

Developed by the African American Design Nexus at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, The Nexus is a podcast that explores the intersection of design, identity, and practice through conversations with Black designers, writers and educators. The Nexus is produced in conjunction with a commitment by the Frances Loeb Library to acquire and create an open-access bibliography of various media suggested by the GSD community on the intersection between race and design.

Show Credits

The Nexus is hosted by Tara Oluwafemi, a student in the Master of Architecture program at Harvard Graduate School of Design. The show is recorded and edited by Maggie Janik, and the theme music is produced by DJ Eway.

Contact

For all inquiries, please email aadn@gsd.harvard.edu.