1:00pm Room A - The Holes In My Blackness: Tools and Approaches to Digital Data Collection on Young Black Women

This talk unpacks the presenter’s recent research regarding young Black experience through an examination of hashtags like #BreonnaTaylor. What do data mining tools like TAGS and DiscoverText offer us in “seeing” young Black bodies in the digital? What other mixed methods approaches are useful in addressing the oft invisibility of young Black ways of knowing and being in the digital?

Dr. Erika Gault

Assistant Professor
Department of Africana Studies
University of Arizona

Dr. Gault – a scholar of Black religion and culture – is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at the College of Humanities.

Dr. Gault graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a doctorate in American Studies. Dr. Gault’s scholarly work demonstrates a sustained focus on the impact and outcomes of religion and technology in Black life. Her work focuses on the use of online social networks in both the research and curation of religious life among Black young adults. She has delivered keynote addresses and published a number of papers regionally, nationally, and internationally on the topics of hip-hop, religion, and digital ethnography.

Given Dr. Gault’s innovative approach to ethnography, she was awarded the 2018-2019 Louisville Institute First Book Grant for Scholars of Color. She has just completed her first single-author volume on the digital religious lives of young Black Christians with New York University Press titled Networking the Black Church: Digital Black Christians and Hip Hop. It is the first work of its kind on digital Black religion. She is the co-editor of the book Beyond Christian Hip Hop: Towards Christians and Hip Hop. Other recent publications include “My People Are Free: Theorizing the Digital Black Church,” which appeared in the spring 2020 issue of Fire!!! The Multimedia Journal of Black Studies, for which she served as guest editor.

Dr. Gault is an innovator in the use of digital tools for the documentation of Black religion. She is the organizer and co-convener of the Africana Digital Humanities Institute (Africana DHi) and the live digital event “Gathering in the Moment: Mobilizing the Digital Black Church’s Prophetic Witness” which drew over 15,000 viewers.