About

Marisa Parham is Professor of English at the University of Maryland at College Park, where she directs the African American Digital and Experimental Humanities initiative (AADHUM), and is associate director for the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH). She holds affiliate faculty appointments in African and African American Studies, in the Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and in the program in Comparative Literature.

Parham’s current teaching and research projects focus on texts and technologies that problematize assumptions about time, space, and bodily materiality. She is particularly interested in how such terms share histories of increasing complexity in literary and cultural texts produced by African Americans, and how they enable experimental approaches to digital humanities, electronic narrative, and technology studies. Recent examples of this work include “Sample | Signal | Strobe: Haunting, Social Media, and Black Digitality,” and the digital-interactive scholarly essays “Breaking, dancing, making in the machine” and .break .dance, which is also anthologized in the Electronic Literature Collection (ELC4) and was a 2021 honorable mention for the N. Katherine Hayles Award from the Electronic Literature Organization. She is currently at work on Black Haints in the Anthropocene, a book-length digital-interactive narrative concerning memory, digitality, and environmental experience, and ConvocationAR, an XR-driven humanities-computing project.

Parham holds a PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, and is the author of Haunting and Displacement in African-American Literature and Culture, The Princeton Review’s African-American Student’s Guide to College, co-editor with John Drabinski of Theorizing Glissant: Sites and Citations, and the author, designer, and/or programmer for numerous other essays, journal issues, crowdsourced arts experiments, and digital projects. Recent projects include Material Conditions 01, co-curated with Cassandra Hradil and Andrew W. Smith for the 2022 Wrong Biennale, and a two-issue “Black DH” edition of Reviews in DH, co-edited with Aleia Brown and Trevor Muñoz.

Parham also co-directs the Immersive Realities Lab for the Humanities (irLh), and currently chairs the ACLS Commission on Fostering and Sustaining Diverse Digital Scholarship. For 2022-23, Parham serves as a UMD Leader-in-Residence for the Breaking the M.O.L.D. Initiative, which “aims to develop a diverse set of leaders… shaped by arts and humanities scholarly values and distinct skills.” Prior to coming to UMD, Parham was Professor of English and Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Amherst College, and a former director of Five College Digital Humanities.

Education

Columbia University. PhD (2004); MPhil; MA :: English and Comparative Literature

You can view or download my current CV here.

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