The Caribbean Digital Scholarship Collective offers a series of programs aimed to nurture digital scholarship in and for the Caribbean.

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Our first year of the microgrant program was marked by a large number of high quality applications. All of us at the Caribbean Digital Scholarship Collective are thrilled with the health, energy and enthusiasm of our community. The range of scholars and researchers seeking to imagine and build digital scholarship for the Caribbean is just outstanding. Needless to say, the task of the selection committee for this year was not an easy one. Below are the awardees for the inaugural year of our microgrant program. Congratulations to all of the recipients!

The Criadas Project

Sarah Bruno, Rice University
Total: $4000

The Criadas Project is a part of the micro lab Taller Entre Aguas (TEA), a collective centered on Black Feminist ethics of care and nurturing the already standing Caribbean notions of historical memory. TEA is sifting through the personal notes of late Puerto Rican Historian Fernando Píco from the 19th century (the Píco papers) to garner a better understanding of Black life pre and post-emancipation. The project centers on understanding the Afro-Puerto Rican women’s world, focusing on the figure of the “Criada,” which holds multiple definitions in current contexts. The project’s goal is to mine, digitize, and make accessible within a digital venue the Picó Papers. Bruno seeks to contribute to the scholarship dealing with young Black life in Puerto Rico and across a broader set of Caribbean discourses that center on the legacies of slavery in everyday life, and how these narratives take shape in contemporary Puerto Ricans’ crafting of presents and futures.

Belize in a Digital Age: Bringing Legacy Creole Recordings into the Present (Belice en la era digital: trayendo las grabaciones criollas al presente)

Nicté Fuller-Medina, Swarthmore College; Kevin B. Montero, Belize Archive and Record Service
Total: $7,660

This transnational collaborative project will create a digital repository of legacy recordings of Belizean songs and folktales currently held at the Belize Archives and Record Service (BARS) and make these valuable resources available for Caribbean Studies research regarding oral literature through multiple languages and cultures. The collection is also a valuable resource for linguistics research, both as a real-time benchmark for examining how language changes over time and as a contribution to datasets needed for testing automated models. The project employs a community-collaborative framework that combines the BARS’s local expertise with collaborators who have worked on Spanish-language recordings collections, training in digitization, and data preparation.

Smallpox and Slavery in the Early Modern Atlantic World: A Digital History (La viruela y la esclavitud en el mundo atlántico moderno temprano: una historia digital)

Elise A. Mitchell, Princeton University
Total: $17,150

“Smallpox and Slavery” is a digital history project consisting of a searchable database, an embedded timelapse map, a course proposal, and historical vignettes about enslaved people who survived smallpox outbreaks in the Atlantic World. Mitchell’s has developed a rich database covering over 400 smallpox outbreaks that affected enslaved Africans and free people of African descent in the Atlantic World, focusing on the Caribbean and West and West Central Africa between the 1500s and 1830s. The project aims to offer historians the opportunity to examine the histories of outbreaks and epidemics across several regions, empires, and cultural contexts over 300 years, without losing sight of the millions of people who endured the brutality of the slave trade and slavery.

Atlantic Seascapes. Phase I: Colombian maritime archive (Paisajes Marítimos Atlánticos. Fase piloto: archivo marítimo colombiano)

Ernesto Bassi, Cornell University; María Paula Corredor, Cornell University
Total: $5,000

Atlantic Seascapes seeks to preserve and promote archival documentation relative to the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic during the Age of Revolutions. This pilot project will consist of a digital collection that will showcase digitized materials from the Archivo General of Colombia that comprises the papers of the Secretary of War and the Navy. This collection is an invaluable resource for studying the first decade of Colombia’s national period, when the newly independent republic, known to historians as Gran Colombia, included the territories of present-day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela. While the larger goal of Atlantic Seascapes is to serve as a digital repository for studying maritime lives, cultures, and societies throughout the Atlantic during the Age of Revolution, this first phase seeks to center Colombia’s Caribbean Sea. Through creating a tool for cataloging and consulting, the project will contribute to the fields of Caribbean history, Latin American history, Atlantic history, global history, maritime history, economic history, gender history, labor history, and studies of mobility, migration, and diasporas.

3D Sans-Souci: Rendering Digital Heritage for Accessibility and Inclusivity (3D Sans-Souci: representación del patrimonio digital para la accesibilidad y la inclusión)

Carla Klehm, University of Arkansas (PI), Frederick Mangones, Collège National des Ingénieurs et Architectes, CNIAH, Port-au-Prince, Haïti (CoPI), and J. Cameron Monroe, UC Santa Cruz (CoPI)
Total: $13,550

This proposal requests support to prepare 3D scan data from Sans-Souci for digital publication. Publication and archiving 3D models in online and offline formats will make the data accessible to local professionals in Haiti. The project will also develop a two-day workshop at CAST to transfer the data and train Haitian colleagues in its use. Before and during the workshop, MAP colleagues will collectively create sample visualizations with annotations to guide users to places of significance in the 3D model. The project brings attention to accessible, inclusive 3D work, multilingual users, and varying technological proficiency. It also addresses how scholars in well-resourced environments can collaborate with communities in the Global South by empowering them with digital technologies and transferring resources.

ACWWS’ Digital Archive

Anaridia Ramona Molina, University of Michigan
Total: $3,000

Molina will work with the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars (ACWWS) to facilitate the expansion of their Conferences Archive Project. The project will develop a new website, the ACWWS’ Digital Archive. The aim is to digitally conserve the association’s institutional memory, record its influence on the cross-cultural connection between scholars, writers, and artists of the Caribbean, and display the scholarly and creative works of our diverse, multi-layered, and storied Caribbean communities. The ACWWS’ Digital Archive will be an important vantage point for the public and scholarly members to perceive the Caribbean region as a vitally creative whole, with specific differences but relational, reciprocal synergies that give unique meaning and shape to the Caribbean in a global context.

To all the recipients, congratulations! We look forward to see your projects come to fruition. To our community, please stay tuned for more information about the Microgrant program. We look forward to seeing your applications in the next round!

Microgrant Recipients 2022

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