Group for Experimental Methods in Humanistic Research
at Columbia University

In the Same Boats

  • Kaiama Glover
  • Alex Gil
  • Emily Fuhrman
  • Alyssa Vann

In the Same Boats is a work of multimodal scholarship designed to encourage the collaborative production of humanistic knowledge within scholarly communities. Comprising two interactive visualizations that trace the movements of seminal cultural actors from the Caribbean and wider Americas, Africa, and Europe within the 20th century Afro-Atlantic world, the platform seeks to push back against the ways in which “Global South” intellectual production has been balkanized in the academy, its limits and contours largely determined by imperial metropoles.

The project presents opportunities to discover the extent to which Caribbean, African, Latin American, European, and Afro-American intellectuals have been in both punctual and sustained conversation with one another: attending the same conferences, publishing in the same journals and presses, active in the same political groups, perhaps even elbow-to-elbow in the same Parisian cafés and on the same transatlantic crossings—literally and metaphorically in the same boats—as they circulate throughout the Americas, Africa, Europe, and beyond.

In presenting a series of individual maps produced on a common template by specialists of the different linguistic regions of the western Atlantic world, Same Boats seeks to counter the Euro-lingual constraints and attendant border-drawing that too often keep Caribbeanist, Latin-Americanist, Africanist, Afro-Europeanist, and Afro-Americanist scholars from engaging in deeply transnational and transcolonial dialogue, hindering us from seeing connections or from fully imagining a networked Afro-intellectual world. Literally mapping the network of Afro-diasporic intellectual, political, and aesthetic figures in the 20th century, Same Boats offers visual corroboration of the work of scholars who have long committed to thinking the Afro-Atlantic as an integrally networked chronotope. This platform aims to facilitate a physical tracing of hemispheric black studies – to provide a point of departure from which to highlight the various sites wherein Afro-Atlantic intellectual traditions may have been born and/or shepherded into the world.

Contributing Institutions and Companies

  • University of Virginia
  • Barnard College
  • Columbia University
  • Agile Humanities