Transforming the Afro-Caribbean World

Transforming the Afro-Caribbean World

The Center for the History of the New America has partnered with the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) to develop the Transforming the Afro-Caribbean World (TAW) project to bring together scholars of the Panama Canal, Afro-Caribbean history, and experts in the digital humanities, data modeling, and visualization for a two-day planning workshop that will discuss a large-scale effort to explore Afro-Caribbean labor, migration, and the Panama Canal.

The U.S. project to construct the Panama Canal exerted a huge impact on the Americas, generating a tidal flow of migration from dozens of nations to the Panama Canal Zone in the early 20th century- and then beyond it to sites across the hemisphere, permanently altering the geography, economy, politics, and cultures of the Western Hemisphere.

The TAW workshop has several aims: 1) digitization of a subset of the proposed records to evaluate potential costs and preservation issues; 2) exploration of structured data tools to reveal new insights about these records; 3) the creation of annotated bibliographies for use by teachers and the public as they begin to explore the centennial anniversary of the opening of the canal; and 4) identification of other archives and repositories to be included in a larger project. Ultimately this start-up grant will produce a work plan and report outlining a potential large-scale collaboration to map and explore the movement of Afro-Caribbean laborers between 1903 and 1920.

The MITH page on the project can be found here.

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