In recent years, scholars of early America have engaged with digital methodologies to create projects that have facilitated new forms of inquiry, practice, and pedagogy. To assess the current state of digital early American studies, The Americas Online aims to bring together scholars, professionals, and students representing a variety of disciplines to determine how recent efforts by digital humanists have reframed—or may yet reframe—our understanding of the early Americas (conceived to include North America, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic world up to 1850). As demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that we think about the ways digital tools and methods can enhance teaching, learning, and research. And, in light of the structural inequities that can shape historical narratives, we must explore digital tools and methods to accomplish anti-racist and decolonial agendas.
The event, which will be held virtually, includes a keynote by Professor Jessica Marie Johnson, a roundtable on digital pedagogy, various pre-circulated paper panels covering intersections of early American studies with mapping, virtual reality, digital critical editions, and other topics. It will conclude with a presentation from the Penn & Slavery student team and the presentation of awards for the asynchronous undergraduate poster session that will be hosted at this site.
This conference is sponsored by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, the History Department at Northeastern University, the Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University, the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies at Iona College and the Kislak Center for Special Collections at the University of Pennsylvania.