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Digital Humanities Initiative

The CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative (CUNY DHI), launched in Fall 2010, aims to build connections and community among those at CUNY who are applying digital technologies to scholarship and pedagogy in the humanities. All are welcome: faculty, students, and technologists, experienced practitioners and beginning DHers, enthusiasts and skeptics.

We meet regularly on- and offline to explore key topics in the Digital Humanities, and share our work, questions, and concerns. See our blog for more information on upcoming events (it’s also where we present our group’s work to a wider audience). Help edit the CUNY Digital Humanities Resource Guide, our first group project. And, of course, join the conversation on the Forum.

Photo credit: Digital Hello by hugoslv on


GC Digital Praxis Seminar/Workshop: Dark Sousveillance: Surveillance, Race and Resistance – TODAY

  • Please join the GC Digital Praxis Seminar ( ) and the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative ( ) for a lecture and workshop by Simone Browne on Race, Surveillance, and Technology. Details below:

    Lecture – Simone Browne on Dark Sousveillance: Surveillance, Race and Resistance
    Mon 12/9, 4:15pm-5:30pm, Skylight Room (9100)
    Since its emergence, surveillance studies has been primarily concerned with how and why populations are tracked, profiled, policed, and governed at state borders, in cities, at airports, in public and private spaces, through biometrics, closed-circuit television, identification documents, social media and other technologies. Also of focus are the many ways that those who are often subject to surveillance subvert, adopt, endorse, invite, resist, innovate, limit, comply with and monitor that very surveillance. As an interdisciplinary field of study the questions that shape surveillance studies center on the management of everyday and exceptional life – personal data, privacy, security, and terrorism, for example. While “race” might be a term found in the index of many of the recent edited collections and special journal issues dedicated to the study of surveillance, within the field questions of Blackness remain under-theorized.

    Situating Blackness as an absented presence in the field of surveillance studies, this talk questions how the intimate relation between branding and the black body – our biometric past – can allow us to think critically about our biometric present.

    About the Speaker
    Simone Browne is Assistant Professor in the Department African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches and researches surveillance studies, biometrics, airport protocol, popular culture, digital media and black diaspora studies.

    RSVP here (not required):

    Workshop – Surveillance, Aesthetics and Resistance: A Workshop with Zach Blas and Simone Browne

    This interactive workshop will explore biometric technologies, art, theory and community-based research. During the workshop we will experiment with biometric image capturing with artist Zach Blas, creator of Facial Weaponization Suite and Face Cages. We will also examine some digital and DIY projects that critically engage surveillance. This workshop will explore the many ways that the digital humanities can make for collaboration, and a critical interrogation of questions of privacy, surveillance and resistance.

    Zach Blas is an artist, writer, and curator whose work engages technology, queerness, and politics. He is the creator of the art group Queer Technologies, a founding member of The Public School Durham, and a PhD Candidate in the Graduate Program in Literature at Duke University. Currently, he is a resident at Eyebeam in New York City.

    Simone Browne is Assistant Professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches and researches surveillance studies, popular culture, social media and black diaspora studies. Her book, Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness(under contract with Duke University Press), examines surveillance with a focus on transatlantic slavery, biometrics, airports, borders, and creative texts.

    RSVP here (required)

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