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Cartography + Graphics Research Assistant Application

Internship Opportunity: Cartography + Graphics Research Assistant

Location: Remote (please indicate the time zone(s) you intend to work from when submitting your application)

Duration: 125 hours to be completed by end of August 2024

Research Assistanceship Overview

We are seeking a Cartography + Graphics Research Assistant to join our team at Kindred Laboratories. As a research assistant, you will work on our Tech Knowledge E-Lab initiative and play a pivotal role in advancing our mission. Your specific project titled "Kente and Kinship: Mapping the Engagement of Ghanaian Poets with African Descendants of Slavery in the United States through Poetry" is made possible by a grant awarded by the African Poetry Digital Humanities Grant.


Kindred Laboratories is committed to learning from and partnering with people across diverse communities and industries. We encourage applications from candidates of all backgrounds and experiences.


Join us in our mission to transform education, empower marginalized voices, and rewrite the narrative of knowledge accessibility. Be part of the Kindred Laboratories movement today!

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Project Abstract

The relationship between Africa and its diaspora is often centered around two major movements: 1) forced trans-Atlantic enslavement beginning in the early 1600s and 2) refugee and voluntary migration from the mid-1900s to contemporary times. In both periods, concepts of identity and kinship are integral. Historically, colonizers destroyed their captives’ sense of identity and kinship during the slave trade.


Contemporarily, diasporans and Africans have sought to reconstruct their identities in relation to one another while also redefining notions of kinship. Through a geographical lens, this research project aims to explore how Ghanaian poets relate to diaspora and kinship in their poetry, as well as through their own travels. In this work, the term diasporans is scoped narrowly to focus on African Americans in the United States who are descendants of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.


The research questions being investigated are:


  1. In these poets’ poems related to diaspora and kinship:

    1. what places in the United States and Ghana do they reference,

    2. are certain locations more frequently mentioned in poems than others, and

    3. what diasporans in the United States do their works engage.

  2. In the poets’ biographies and in the historical contexts of the related locations:

    1. what locations in the United States and Ghana did they visit that allowed them to connect with diasporans,

      1. do certain locations become more or less popular over time,

      2. are certain locations more frequently visited than others, and

      3. what value do these locations hold for the core themes of diaspora and kinship.


To answer these questions, this research examines how geographic mapping and close reading reveal how Ghanaian poets relate to diasporans and kinship in their poetry. The research methodology includes the collection and digitization of poetry, close reading of the selected poems, historical analysis, and geographic mapping.


Ultimately, the deliverable for this project will be an interactive map visualizing these trans-Atlantic encounters as informed by the poetic works. By utilizing geospatial data visualization techniques, the project will provide an immersive experience for users, pushing the boundaries of typical engagement with African poetry while leveraging mapping technology and other data and enhancing their understanding and experience of the poems.


Research Assistant Qualifications

Bachelor's degree or extensive experience in Geography, Cartography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Graphic Design, or a related field. Given the project's focus on geospatial data, a background in geography or GIS is particularly beneficial.

Demonstrated expertise in GIS software like ArcGIS or QGIS. The ability to work with geospatial data, perform spatial analysis, and create maps is crucial.

Strong graphic design skills, particularly in Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign). The ability to create aesthetically pleasing and informative visual materials.​

Familiarity with the geography of the relevant regions (Ghana, United States) and an understanding of the importance of geographic context in historical analysis.

Experience in digital humanities, including familiarity with interactive mapping.

Job Application

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