108 Hilbun Hall
P.O. Box 5448
Mississippi State, MS 39762


Ph.D. Geography conferral May 13, 2022

      University of Nebraska, Lincoln

      Dissertation Title: “Contested Space: Mobilities, Networks, and the Pursuit of Freedom in the Great Dismal Swamp.”

      History Comprehensive Exams (completed 9/18/2019)

            Major field: Nineteenth Century United States History

            Secondary field: World History

MLIS, Digital Libraries Concentration (Spring 2022)

      University of North Carolina, Greensboro

M.A., History, Virginia State University (2013)

      Thesis: “With Great Zeal? The Social Context of Free Blacks Surviving the Confederacy”

B.A., Women’s and Gender Studies, University of North Carolina, Greensboro (2008)

Academic Appointment

Assistant Professor of Human Geography, Department of Geosciences with Joint Appointment in African American Studies, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS (starting August 16, 2022)

Publications (peer reviewed)

Foreword, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” by Harriet Jacobs, Cita Press edition, October 2022

Rethinking Enslaved Containment and Mobility in North Carolina’s 1821 Insurrectionary Scare” in American Revolutions in the Digital Age edited by Mark Boonshoft, Nora Slominsky, and Ben Wright (under contract with Cornell University Press).

“Critical Engagement into GIS Methods While Wrestling with Slavery’s Archive,” in Spatial Futures: Difference and the Post-Anthropocene edited by Heidi J. Nast,  Alex Papadopoulos, and LaToya Eaves. Palgrave, forthcoming.

GIS AND THE MAPPING OF ENSLAVED MOVEMENT: THE MATRIX OF RISKEnvironmental History Now (August 19, 2021), < >

A Persistent Denial- On Archival Erasure and Network Analysis Interventions” in Black Freedom Struggles: An Africana Reader ed. Latif Tarik. Dubuque: Kendall Hunt Publishing, September 2021

“BLACK IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT: Restoring Black Visibility and Liberation to Digital Humanities”with Nishani Frazier and Hilary Green, in Digital Humanities Debates 2023 ed. Lauren Klein and Matthew Gold. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming.

Review Essay: Digital History and the Civil War Era,” with Cameron Blevins in Journal of the Civil War Era, doi:10.1353/cwe.2022.0004

“Black Scholars and Disciplinary Gatekeeping,” in Alternative Histories of the Digital Humanities edited by Dorothy Kim and Adeline Koh. Santa Barbara: Punctum, <> winner of the 2022 American Studies Association Digital Humanities Book Prize

“To Render a Landscape of Trauma: Deep Mapping a Historical Landscape of Domination—The Great Dismal Swamp,” in Expanding the Boundaries of Black Intellectual History, ed. Leslie Alexander, Brandon Byrd, and Russell Rickford. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2021.

“The Disappearance of Eve and Sall: Escaping Slavery in North Carolina,” Black Perspectives (October 5, 2020).<>

“Review: Recogito,” Reviews in Digital Humanities, 1, no. 2 (2020). <;

Policy Report

Contributing Author and Project Cartographer with Alexa Sutton Lawrence,Updated Community Impact Assessment of Lambert Compressor Station; Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, February 2021

Courses Taught

“Sensory Geographies“, Mississippi State University (special topics course that I created) (2022)

African American History to 1877, N.C. A&T State University (2021)

Spatial Analysis: Theory, Methods, Applications, University of Nebraska, Lincoln (2020).

Survey of U.S. History to 1877, Missouri State University, (2014-2015).

Invited Presentations

“Wilderness Isles of Freedom in the Great Dismal Swamp” Decolonizing Approaches to Studying History and Cultural Linguistic Heritage Series, Center for Research and Practice in Cultural Continuity, University of Warsaw, via zoom March 8, 2023.

“Mapping Black Geographies in the Great Dismal Swamp” We Carry it Within US Series, Elizabeth City State University Department of History Public Humanities Colloquium, March 1, 2023

“The Anti-Borders Along the Wilderness Isles of Freedom” Hammond Distinguished Lecture and Keynote, GeoSym 2023, University of Tennessee Knoxville Geography and Sustainability, February 10, 2023

“Freedom’s Scene” Keynote presentation for Dr. Martin Luther King Day, Albertus Magnus College, via zoom, January 16, 2023

#ProvinceBuilding: Western Province, Zambia– Education & Training Sector Project Opportunities in Mubita, LLC Webinar Series, online, November 19, 2022

“The Material Elements of Enslaved People’s Mobility” in Everyone’s Earth: Conversations on Race and Environment at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, November 2, 2022.

Using Geoprocessing Methods to Understands Landscapes of Domination in the Past“, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Wesleyan University, October 27, 2022

“Wayfinding and Waypoints in the Wilderness: The Underground Railroad of the Great Dismal Swamp” in National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Inaugural Panel on the Underground Railroad, September 7, 2022, Cincinnati, Ohio.

“The Power of Music and Memory: The Legacies of the Fisk Jubilee Singers and the Underground Railroad”, in 150th Anniversary of The Fisk Jubilee Singers: National Park Service Network to Freedom Program, October 8, 2021. role: presenter

“Black Wayfinding in the Antebellum Hinterland— “The Compass of Moss Points North” in Black Feminist Ecologies Salon, Wesleyan University African American Studies (online), February 24, 2021.

Moderator, “Geographies of Disruption: Mapping to Make Sense of 2020’s Sociopolitical Upheaval” Indiana University Bloomington GIS Day. November 10, 2020. <>

“Abstract|Concretize|Simplify: The Tensions of Critical GIS and Historical Geography” New Voices in DH,  Digital Humanities Symposium, University of Oklahoma-Norman, March 26, 2020.

“Dispatches from 1842: George Thompson, Moses Grandy, and the Sociology of Knowledge” History Research Forum,Leeds-Beckett University, UK, October 23, 2019.

Movement and Other Translations of Landscape” Digital Dialogues Forum, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, October 30, 2018.

“GIS: Challenge and Opportunity For the Humanities” Digital Jumpstart Workshop 2018, Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities University of Kansas April 6, 2018.

“Uncanny Projections: The Challenge and Promise of Historical GIS DH2017 Keynote, California State University- Fullerton Digital Humanities Symposium, November 15, 2017.

“GIS As a Phenomenological Bridge to Enslaved Experience” Center for Digital Research in the Humanities Digital Humanities Forum, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, April 7, 2017.

“The Pursuit of Freedom in Antebellum Eastern North Carolina Digital Humanities Symposium titled, “Mapping Movements and Memories: Global Perspectives in the Digital Humanities,” Vanderbilt University, April 3, 2017.

“Reconstructing Moses Grandy’s World: The Interplay of GIS With Enslaved Narratives” Hall Center Digital Humanities Seminar, University of Kansas, February 20, 2017.

“The Promise of Historical GIS Data for Libraries” GEO4Libraries Camp,Stanford University,CA, January 30, 2017.

Conference Presentations

Data Acquisition and Its Constraints for Modeling Enslaved Freedom Seekers in the Great Dismal Swamp, in Decolonizing Historical Data in the Context of Colonization and Empire, 136th Meeting of the American Historical Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 7, 2023

So You Think You Can’t Map?: GIS Basics for Participatory Mapping in workshop, Digital Humanities Session: Digital Technology for Digital Projects: A Primer, Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Montgomery, Alabama, September 29, 2022.

More than Human Comrades in Enslaved Liberation in roundtable Traces of Black Health and Wellness in Archives of Enslavement, Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Montgomery, Alabama, September 29, 2022. (organizer and presenter)

Metadata Essentials for Omeka S, in workshop, Omeka S. Showcase and Spotlight on Hallowed Grounds: Race, Slavery and Memory at the University of Alabama, Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Montgomery, Alabama, October 1, 2022.

Inhibiting Innovation: Breaking free from Masculinist GIS Foundations in panel, Thinking, Being, and Living Intersectional Feminist Geographies, Feminist Geography Conference, UC Boulder, June 15-17, 2022

Betsy Baily’s Panoramic Space: Black Feminist Considerations on Antebellum Enslaved Navigation in panel, Borderlands, Intimacies and In/Mobility: Black and Indigenous Feminist Approaches to Embodied Life, Feminist Geography Conference, UC Boulder, June 15-17, 2022

The Chaos of Movement Algorithms in Ethically Recovering Black Pasts Counter Mapping and the Infrastructures of Visual Life 1: Race and the Politics of Mapping American Association of Geographers 2022- New York City, February 25, 2022

Using Radial Flow Maps to Illuminate the Range of Black Mobility at Sea in the Nineteenth Century in session, Experimental Black Ecologies and Reparative Restoration 3 American Association of Geographers 2022- New York City, February 27, 2022.

“To Digitize an Old Map: Resisting Simplification” in panel Constructing Spatial Narratives: Considerations and Practices Across Communities”(panel organizer and participant), Digital Humanities 2020- Ottawa, Canada July 22-24,2020.

“Using Geospatial Technique to Map Fugitivity in the Great Dismal Swamp, Omohundro Institute 2020 Conference, Williamsburg, VA June 20, 2021.

“The Lure of the Ebb Tide: Charting Struggle and Promise Along Moses Grandy’s Journey to Freedom” in panel The World Maroons Made: Community, Mobility, and the Insurgency of Freedom in the Great Dismal Swamp, Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora10th Biennial Conference, The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia. November 5-9, 2019.

“A History of a Life with its Deepest Intentions: Moses Grandy’s Narrative of Enslavement Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing, University of Massachusetts- Amherst. July 15-19, 2019.

“Digital Reading Practices for Learning Pathways: The Digitized Slave Narrative” in panel Let’s Get Digital: Using Digital Resources in the Classroom Teachers Luncheon, Eighty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the Southern Historical Association, Birmingham, AL, November 10, 2018.

“The Oak of Jerusalem: Flight, Refuge and Reconnaissance in the Great Dismal Swamp Region” William and Mary Quarterly-University of California-Irvine Digital Research in Early America Workshop, October 11, 2018.

“The Co-Articulation of Sound, Moving Images, and Archival Materials” in panel Cartographies of Sound and Vision, 2nd annual Moore Institute Digital Cultures Initiative Conference, Galway, Ireland, April 20, 2018.

“Forms of Freedom—Tracing the Political Costs of Freedom-Making in Bondage” Organization of American Historians, Sacramento Convention Center, April 13, 2018.

Deep Mapping the Enslaved Runaways of Eastern North Carolina” (panel organizer and participant) in panel Decolonizing Methodologies: Recovery and Access Amidst the Ruins Digital Humanities 2017, Montreal, Canada, August 10, 2017.

Such Was My Horror of Slavery: Dread, Flight, and the Quest for Livity  in the Great Dismal SwampShifting the Geography of Reason XIV: Theorizing Livity, Decolonizing Freedom Caribbean Philosophical Association, New York City, June 22, 2017.

“Our Fervent Love for Those Still With Us: Exploring the Dimensions of Enslaved Family Networks 30th Biannual Symposium on African American Culture and Philosophy Purdue University, Indiana, December 2, 2016.


2023 Edwin H. & Elizabeth H. Hammond Distinguished Lecturer, University of Tennessee Knoxville

2022 Research Mentoring Award: Faculty Mentor for Mentee, Nia O’Bannon, N.C. A&T State University,

2020 Deans Scholarship, University of North Carolina Greensboro.

2019 ESRI Federal GIS Conference|Student Assistantship, Washington, DC.

2018-19 Regents Graduate Fellowship, University of Nebraska Lincoln.

2017 Humanities Without Walls National Predoctoral Fellowship-  Humanities Without Walls Consortium, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities

2017 American Library Association Spectrum Scholarship

2017 Digital Library Federation Fellowship

2017 August Edgren Graduate Fellowship- University of Nebraska Lincoln 

2016 Center for Digital Research in the Humanities-UNL- Digital Scholarship Incubator Fellow

Digital Humanities Experience

Program Manager, Kedge Conservation, LLC
Responsible for cultural mapping and literature review of the geography of conservation areas and burdened communities as well as qualitative research design and analysis for study areas. (2021-2022 )

GIS Historical Location Boundary Consultant, Cornell University    Freedom on the Move
Collect and review a range of historical documents in Louisiana for toponymic data in order to assign spatial reference.  Provide real-world reference to scanned maps for overlay analysis with other GIS data. (fall/spring 2020/21)

Graduate Research Assistant, Center for Digital Research in the Humanities (2017-present)
Charles Chesnutt Digital Archive Encoding and transcription of Chesnutt’s published fiction and nonfiction. This digital edition  will  contain a collection of 300 contemporary reviews of six book-length works Chesnutt published between 1899 and 1905. (2019/20)

Walt Whitman’s Annotations Encoding and transcription of Walt Whitman’s Geography Scrapbook (summer 2019)

Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project Provided digitization and description while making accessible materials related to the Genoa U.S. Indian Industrial School.(fall 2018- spring 2019).


FUNDED– National Science Foundation. Planning Grant

title: Advancing Geosciences Cultural Change in Access, Diversity, and Inclusion via History of Geology and Environmental Injustice

role: Co-PI

under review– National Endowment of the Humanities. Collaborative Research

title: Wild Foodways and Belonging in the South 

role: Co-PI

under review– National Park Service Cultural Resources.

title: Historical Interpretive Design: The American Colonization Society and African American Emigration from North Carolina

role: Co-PI

under review– National Endowment of the Humanities. Digital Humanities Advancement Level II Grant

Title: Digital Mapping:  The American Colonization Society and African American Emigration to Liberia, 1823-1906

Role: Co-PI

not funded- National Science Foundation (NSF) Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement
Grant, NSF Geography and Spatial Sciences Program
Title: “Contested Space: Mobilities, Networks, and the Pursuit of Freedom in the Great Dismal Swamp,”
Role: Co-PI (with Faculty PI Lead Heather Richards-Rissetto) 

Software Application

  • ArcGIS Desktop/Online
  • QGIS
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Oxygen XML Editor

Service (Professional and Community)

Rural Geographies Specialty Group JEDI Committee– role: Co-Chair

Southeastern Division for the Rural Geography Specialty Group– role: Southeast Region Director

Black Geographies Specialty Group Executive Council– role: Assistant Communications Director 2022-2024

Association for the Study of African-American Life and History 2022 Digital Humanities Committee– member 2021-present

Oral History Association, Emerging Professionals Committee (September 2021-present)

Social Justice Task Force, Member (2020-present).

Great Dismal Swamp Stakeholder Collaborative, Member (December 2019-present).

Great Dismal Swamp Stakeholder Collaborative Storytelling Committee – Member (2021-present).

People Not Property Slavery Deeds Working Group Member (2016-present).

Homecoming Network, Historian Member (2021-present).
The Homecoming Network was established by Eric Anthony Sheppard, a heritage curator in Hampton Roads, VA. This is an initiative that educates the public about efforts to honor the legacy of enslaved ancestors, anti-slavery freedom fighters and restore relationships within the African descendant diaspora.

Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, Community Engagement Committee, Member (2021-present).

Ricky Dawkins, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, Founder. (2020 to present). The fund honors the life of Christy Hyman’s son, Ricky Dawkins, Jr., through helping college-bound African American students financially in their effort to attain degrees in the arts.


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