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Resurrecting the Black Body

Race and the Digital Afterlife

The first critical examination of death and remembrance in the digital age—

and an invitation to imagine Black digital sovereignty in life and death.

University of California Press

Research: Headliner

Funded Research

Premised on Care: Redescription as Restorative Justice in American Archives

This IMLS-funded project seeks to identify existing—and make recommendations for future—professional practices for culturally responsive decision making about archival redescription. Asking questions such as when and why redescription practices are engaged, what role improved access as a result of digitization plays in motivations for redescription, when and how mass digitization results in harmful description at scale, and how aggregation amplifies and legitimizes problematic description, this research in service to practice project will address growing concerns that have arisen at the intersection of description and digitization, identify developing redescription practices that model archival harm reduction, and make recommendations for culturally responsive redescription in U.S. archives.

Research: CV

Selected Published Works

Tonia Sutherland and Gailyn Bopp. “The Pacific Futures of Subsea Data Centers.” New Media and Society 25, no. 2 (2023): 345-360.

Zakiya Collier and Tonia Sutherland. “Witnessing, Testimony, and Transformation as Genres of Black Archival Practice.” The Black Scholar 52, no. 2 (2022): 6-14.

Tonia Sutherland and Alyssa Purcell. “A Weapon and a Tool: Decolonizing Description and Engaging Redescription as Liberatory Archival Praxes.” International Journal of Information, Diversity, and Inclusion 5, no. 1 (2021): 60-78. [PDF]

Tonia Sutherland. “Remains.” In Uncertain Archives: Critical Keywords for Big Data, Daniela Agostinho, Catherine D'Ignazio, Annie Ring, Nanna Bonde Thylstrup, and Kristin Veel, eds. (Boston: MIT Press, 2021): 433-442.

Tonia Sutherland. “Where There’s A Will: On Heir Property, African American Land Stories, and the Value of Oral Records in American Archives.” In Defining a Discipline: Archival Research and Practice in the 21st Century – Essays in Honor of Richard J. Cox, Jeannette Bastian and Elizabeth Yakel, eds. (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2020): 238-255. [PDF]

Tonia Sutherland. “Disrupting Carceral Narratives: Race, Rape, and the Archives.” Open Information Science (August 2020). [PDF]

Marika, Cifor, Patricia Garcia, T.L Cowan, Jas Rault, Tonia Sutherland, Anita Say Chan, Jennifer Rode, Anna Lauren Hoffmann, Niloufar Salehi, and Lisa Nakamura. The Feminist Data Manifest-No. 2019.

Tonia Sutherland. “The Carceral Archive: Documentary Records, Narrative Construction, and Predictive Risk Assessment.” Journal of Cultural Analytics (2019).

Tonia Sutherland. “Reading Gesture: Katherine Dunham, the Dunham Technique, and the Vocabulary of Dance as Decolonizing Archival Praxis.” Archival Science (2019): 167-183.

Isabel, Espinal, Tonia Sutherland, and Charlotte Roh. “A Holistic Approach for Inclusive Librarianship: Decentering Whiteness in Our Profession.” Library Trends 67, no. 1 (Summer 2018): 147-162.

Tonia Sutherland. “‘Making a Killing’: On Race, Ritual, and (Re)membering in Digital Culture.” Preservation, Digital Technology, and Culture 46, no. 1 (2017): 36-40.

Tonia Sutherland. “Archival Amnesty: In Search of Black American Transitional and Restorative Justice.” Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies 2 (2017). [PDF]

Research: Publications
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