F20 Black Atlantic: Resources, Pedagogy, and Scholarship on the 18th Century Black Atlantic

Project Proposal

Currently, I am not sure if this project would be imagined as a unit within a class or a public resource. However, here are my ideas as I have them mapped:

My project will be a project proposal with a literature review and some beginning elements of the project with a hypothetical intention to continue it over the summer or online through crowdsourced means.

Part 1.
Earlier in the semester, we watched Daughters of the Dust, a 1991 film about a modern Gullah family. One of the remarkable additions to the film, is the attention to detail in depicting the Gullah dialect of English and Gullah nomenclature. I was interested in the connection the film might provide as a fruitful basis to consider linguistic cultural recidivisms between West African Languages, the Gullah dialect of English, and Black dialects of English spoken through the United States as a result of migration. Therefore, I would map out a consideration of language as it was recorded in 18th and possible 19th century America and build my map from there. However, the project would have to cross into several centuries, the bulk of the academic research or literature review would be grounded in discussing what mind be grounded as "Black Atlantic Linguistics" in the early Americas, considering how fluid the connection between English and African Languages might be.

Part 2.
The second part of my project (which I am not sure will come in the form of a class unit or a crowd sources open resource) is grounded in doing the work of mapping linguistic trends from "Black Atlantic Linguistics" throughout the Americas via The Great Migration - which is a 20th century project. I conceptualize this through crowd sourced research that might include surveys and video interviews that allows the participant (or a moderator) to then pin the results onto a map that would lead to a link that contains larger stories, the survey results, or videos. The survey might ask people about migratory routes, linguistic features they use, as well as video to conceptualize how we are indexing the users through language. 

I believe Story Maps might be useful in creating this, however, I believe the rest might be rather lowtech and done through Google Forms or Qualtrics as well as a video hosting website - maybe Youtube, Instagram or even Tik Tok (Tik Tok has a lot of "challenges" that people can easily participate in due to the way you can easily "copy" elements from a video and put them into your own- essentially responding to short prompts). They would then all be stored in one place which could be reached through clicking on the map, much like the "James Baldwin's Paris" map. Because I might be limited in this aspect, I would plan to heavily map this out in the proposal, possibly even start it, and collect information later - possibly over the Summer while maybe trying to partner with other scholars or obtain some kind of volunteer resources to continue the map. My hope would be that it becomes a self-running like Tougaloo University's Sundown Town map, an unrelated resource that also uses a clickable map and crowdsourced information.

Texts I'm considering:
Language and Ethnicity by Carmen Fought
Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English Rickford and Rickford
Work from LangaugeJones.com

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