The Curator for the Black Diaspora is a subject specialist who brings unique expertise to an innovative, team-based curatorial model at the John Hay Library, home to Brown University’s remarkable collections of rare books, manuscripts, and University Archives. Brown’s research and programmatic strengths related to the Black Diaspora are focused in Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. The Curator combines deep knowledge of the histories and cultures of one or more of these geographies with experience in non-colonial, non-extractive collections and research practices. The Curator will carry out a foundational project, in partnership with library staff, faculty, and students, to define the ethical parameters for growing Black Diaspora materials in Special Collections. The Curator will be guided by the John Hay Library Collection Policy and will use methods including acquisitions, post-custodial collecting, oral histories, and community engaged projects.
In partnership with the University Archivist, students, faculty, and alumni, the Curator will also provide focused attention to the long-term preservation of the rich history of Black students, faculty, and alumni at Brown University and will participate in ongoing projects with the Inman Page Black Alumni Council, Rites & Reason Theater, and more. Additionally, in association with the Academic Engagement department at Brown University Library, the Curator will serve as the subject liaison for Africana Studies and is a resource for the expanding academic and curricular needs of the University. The Curator will purposefully engage with students on campus to support their scholarship and cultural exploration and will partner with relevant student centers including the Brown Center for Students of Color. The Curator will also advise on major initiatives on campus that relate to historical or contemporary collections of Black diaspora material, with particular focus given to initiatives from the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ) and the Center for the Study of Race & Ethnicity in America (CSREA), and the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women’s Black Feminist Theory Project. The Curator will also cultivate reciprocal, mutually beneficial relationships with local cultural heritage institutions whose work centers Black history and culture.