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Dr. Sean Singer was the first person to finish the Ph.D. program in American Studies. His dissertation, “The Brick: Newark's Artistic Inquiry into Urban Crisis” reads Newark through its artists—its fiction writers, poets, photographers, and jazz musician— through their biographies and oral histories, and through their work as texts, and reads its artists through Newark, the social and cultural streams that shaped the city, from the sixties until now. Singer is a practicing poet and also the author of Discography (Yale University Press), Honey & Smoke (Eyewear Publishing), and the chapbooks Passport and Keep Right on Playing Through the Mirror Over the Water (both with Beard of Bees Press). He writes book reviews for American Studies, The Rumpus, and Inside Higher Ed. He is the recipient of a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and lives in Harlem, New York City.
Dr. Paul M. Heideman wrote a dissertation entitled Banquo's Ghost: The Russian Revolution in New Negro Thought, which he is currently revising into a manuscript. It examines the Russian revolution's place in postwar black intellectual history through a look at three Harlem publications: The Messenger, The Crusader, and The New York Age. In each case, it reveals that how the writers for these journals interpreted the revolution had a substantial impact on their political trajectories, ultimately shaping the contours of black radicalism in the immediate postwar years.
Dr. Samantha J. Boardman specializes in developing archival sources and original research into accessible, compelling, multimedia projects. Her research into the Krueger-Scott African-American Oral History Archive, whose analog interviews she digitally preserved, is currently used in undergraduate curricula and documentary production as part of the Newest Americans initiative launched by the Center for Migration and the Global City. "We Found Our Way (At That Time)," a digital audio collage she composed from interview clips and ambient sounds is the featured sound installation in the GlassBook Project: Provisions Exhibit based on narratives from the collection. An article discussing her work with the archive appears in the "Food & Migration" issue of the journal Vandal. Additional public humanities projects employ archival photographs and web-based digital mapping to trace the effects of Urban Renewal on the built environment. Her digital documentaries include two short pieces on Newark landmarks and institutions, CASTLE NEWARK: The Krueger-Scott Mansion and the award-winning ART FOR ALL: The Special Collections (with Rosie Uyola). Samantha graduated magna cum laude from the City College of New York with a BA in Liberal Arts and was the recipient of the Rutgers University Graduate Student Excellence Award as well as the Chancellor’s Award for Student Community Research. In addition to public and digital humanities work, Samantha enjoys concurrent careers as a multimedia artist and commercial voice actress.