About

I am currently conducting doctoral research at Bonn University’s Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies. My research focuses on the community of enslaved people in Sephardic Jewish households in Bridgetown, Barbados, in the early modern period. As a practicing archivist, I have done archival processing and digitization projects in the Caribbean with a special focus on colonial archives and Jewish collections. I have worked in the heritage sector for 15+ years, and have Master’s degrees in History (Jewish Studies); Library Science (Archives); and Museum Studies. Through my research and praxis, my goal is to restore marginalized people into the archival record by weaving together different types of information through digital methods to go beyond archival documents. Finally, I am passionate about public outreach work that engages people with digitized collections.

Education

PhD Candidate – Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (2021-ongoing) Bonn University, Germany

HILS – Dual Master’s Degree (2007-2010) University of Maryland, USA           

MLS – Library Sciences (Specialization: Archival Science)

MA – History (specialization: Jewish history)

MA – Museum Studies (1994-1997) Yildiz Technical University, Turkey

BA – History of Art & Archaeology (1986-1990) University of Athens, Greece 

Other Publications

Projects

Digital Projects

2020  Barbados Runaways. WordPress site for public engagement  with historical newspapers

2019   Initiated the “Barbados Runaway Slaves Digital Collection” (in collaboration with the Barbados Archives and the Early Caribbean Digital Archive)

2019 Digitization of The Barbadian newspaper (EAP1251)

2018 Digitization of The Barbados Mercury newspaper (EAP1086)

2018   UNESCO Slave Routes project – Consultant for WordPress site development for the Barbadian UNESCO chapter.

2018 Documentation of the art collection of the Sidney Martin Library, University of West Indies, Cave Hill campus.

2017     Barbados Synagogue Restoration Project Digital Collection (here).

2012      Kari Kraus and Amalia S. Levi (Eds.). Rough Cuts: Media and Design in Process. [Online collection of essays and artifacts]. MediaCommons: The New Everyday.

 

Workshops organized and presented


2020      Creative workshops to engage the public in exploring digitized newspapers and runaway ads.


2019      Public workshops for crowdsourcing transcriptions of ‘runaway slaves’ ads in colonial newspapers.


2019     “Decolonizing the Archival Record: Launch of The Barbados  Runaway Slaves Digital Collection. Organized a series of workshops to launch the digital archive and presented on using the ads for historical research and digital projects.   


2019     Omeka workshop: “Diversifying the Historical Record through Jewish Community-based Archives.” Association for Jewish Libraries (AJL), Los Angeles, CA.


2019 “In and Out of the [Archival] Box.” Presentation at the workshop Careers in History, Heritage, and Beyond. University of West Indies, Cave Hill.


2018 “Public History Projects for Reconstructing Disappeared Sites: The Case Study of the Quakers’ Burial Ground at the Synagogue Historic District.” Panel at Nidhe Israel Synagogue, Bridgetown, Barbados.

2018      “Digitizing for Access: Promoting the Use of our Collections.” Digitization workshop at the Barbados National Library Service.


2018     Finding aid workshop. Sidney Martin Library, University of West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados.


2017     “Collaborative Finding Aid Workshop.” Barbados Archives.

Upcoming Talks and Conferences


  • 2021  “Archival Dependencies: Enslaved People in the Jewish Households of Bridgetown, Barbados.” Atlantic Jewish Worlds 1500-1900.

  • 2021  “Dispersed, Displaced, Destroyed: Reconstructing a Digital Archival Infrastructure for the Study of Caribbean Jewish Communities.” #DHJewish – Jewish Studies in the Digital Age.

  • 2020  “Beyond digitization: Engaging the Community to Decolonize the Archival Record for the Enslaved.” Digital Humanities 2020 (Online due to COVID-19). Slides & summary

  • 2020  “Displaced Archives in the Study of the Western Sephardic Diaspora.” Association for Jewish Libraries (AJL) (Online due to COVID-19).

  • 2020   “Documentation and Digitization Projects in Barbados.” CLIR Symposium: Capacity Assessment of Latin American and Caribbean Partners. (Online due to COVID-19).

  • 2019   “Digital Humanities as Mindfulness: Minding the Gaps, Mending the Gaps.” Online Webathon:  Digital Humanities, Cultural Heritage and Open Access, online webinar.

  • 2019   “Asymmetrical Dependencies in Bridgetown, Barbados: The Case Study of the Enslaved in Jewish Households.” Gender, Intersectionality, and Dependency workshop, Bonn, Germany.

  • 2019   “Runaway Slave Ads as Sources for Genealogical Research.” Genealogy Workshop, Barbados Archives.

  • 2018   “Digitizing the Barbados Mercury Gazette: Not the End, but a Beginning.” The Caribbean Digital V, Trinidad.

  • 2018   “Processing the Barbados Synagogue Restoration Project Records: Reflections and opportunities for future projects.” Association for Caribbean Historians (ACH), Barbados.

  • 2018   “Tracing the Jews of Barbados.” Genealogy Marketplace, Barbados Archives.

  • 2018   “Silences as News: The Relevance and Urgency of Preserving Historical Newspapers in Postcolonial Settings.” Keynote address. IFLA International News Media Conference, Gainesville, FL.

  • 2017   “The Synagogue Block in Bridgetown, Barbados: Assessing Past Accomplishments and Emerging Possibilities.” Transforming Public History from Charleston to the Atlantic World: 2017 Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World, Charleston, SC.

  • 2014    “Redefining primary sources for future historical research.” American Historical Association (AHA), Washington, DC.

  • 2013    “Semantic Technologies and Sense Making in Humanities,” DHSI 2013, University of Victoria, Canada.

  • 2012    “Through the Eye of the Needle: Making Sense of Humanities Scholarship with Linked Open Data.” Semantic Search NKOS/CENDI Workshop, Washington, DC.

  • 2012    “Links as crossroads in archives, museums, libraries: Redefining diasporic online identity through user-generated contextual information.” Digital Crossroads Conference, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

  • 2011    From Access to Integration: Digital Technologies and the Study of Jewish History conference. Center for Jewish History, New York, NY.

  • 2009    “Constructing memory, reclaiming history: Representing Sephardic Women in the Balkans,” Lecture at Imagining the Cosmopolitan: Sephardic Jewish Cultural Contributions to Ottoman City Life workshop, Georgetown University, D.C.

  • 2008     “Exhibiting Sephardic and Mizrachi Jewry: Museums, Archives, and the ‘Unbearable Lightness’ of Memory,” Invited presentation in the Integrating Sephardi and Mizrachi Studies: Research and Practice conference, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.

Memberships

Association of Jewish Libraries

Amalia S. Levi

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@amaliasl

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