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Research Summary

In my independent research projects I enjoy bravely experimenting with research methodologies that build upon the work and legacies of Black feminist and queer theorists. I am primarily interested in the ways that technology is used for world-building, as intimate community building, and for play and joy. Descriptions of my projects are below: 

Digital Diasporic Intimacies: Black Feminist Approaches to Visual Cultures Online

Through a series of case studies that explore Black women's curation of, presence within, and engagement with digital visual cultures, this project defines and explores how digital diasporic intimacies have been created, shared, and sustained on social media through various visual cultures. I bring together cecile emeke’s former YouTube-based web series 'strolling' (2014-16), Renata Cherlise’s Instagram-based archival project, a range of selfies uploaded onto Instagram with the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic, and a genre of cartoon memes which use Black femme aesthetics, to argue for the importance of visual culture for building diasporic communities and forming diasporic identities on social media. At the centre of this project is the term "digital diasporic intimacy", which I use to describe moments of joy, expressions of imagined kinship, and practices of solidarity mediated by the Black diaspora on social media. Focusing on how these visual mediums resonate and engage diasporic intimacies, my first project considers how tensions, friction, and disagreements expressed on social media also underpin the creation of online communities and can too be practices of diasporic identity negotiation. Underpinned by Black feminism and theories of race and technology, this project responds to my personal experiences of exploring an online world where community building and self-discovery overlap. 

Future Research Projects

I am currently preparing a new project that will explore Black queer intimacies and the politics of play in film and video game art. It will be an experimental project that explores queer fantasy world-building and immersive technologies as tools for imagining alternative futures. I'm so excited for this one... 

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