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Literary Analysis Research Assistant Application

Opportunity: Literary Analysis 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 Literary Analysis 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!

 

Email us at scholourship@gmail.com with questions.

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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.

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Research Assistant Qualifications

Bachelor's degree or extensive knowledge in a humanities field, such as English, literature, or African or cultural studies, with specialization in African or African American literature.

Proficiency in close reading techniques, with the ability to dissect and analyze the language, structure, and themes of poetry.

Ability to contextualize literature within historical contexts, particularly the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the African diaspora, is essential for interpreting the themes and narratives in the poetry.

Experience in digital humanities, including familiarity with digital research tools, text analysis software, and data visualization platforms, is important for effectively managing and analyzing the textual data from the poetry.

Cultural competence and an understanding of the nuances of African and African American cultures, histories, and identities are vital for interpreting the literature.

Job Application

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