Two Summer Scholars from Lafayette College Libraries’ DHSS program (May 17 – June 24, 2022) present their original digital research projects about race, representation, and the effects of colonialism:
Sidath Chandrasena ‘25 – Early Sri Lankan migration to Australia
Until the 1960s, Australia sought to exclude non-European immigration, termed the “White Australia policy.” However, 500 non-Europeans from Ceylon (Sri Lanka) arrived in Queensland, Australia onboard the SS Devonshire vessel in 1882, and many permanently settled in Australia. I began this project to learn why they had come and what happened to them after arriving in Australia.
Using online tools likevancestry.com, findagrave.com and state archives 90 out of the original 500 migrants identified comprised my dataset of biographical information. I contacted descendants to gain further information about their ancestors’ lives, creating a website including an interactive map with stories, photos, newspaper clippings and gravesite locations of 25 migrants who were onboard Devonshire.
Maya Nylund ‘23 - Race and Representation in Counterfactual Speculations of Slavery
How should authors be writing about and from the perspective of those with identities different to them- if at all? How does someone’s own identity impact the artistic products of their imagination to begin with?
A corpus of ten books, speculative fictions of American slavery from the alternative history, historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy genres, 5 of which were written by White authors and 5 of which were written by Black authors was created and the text analysis software Voyant used primarily to reveal collocates and relative frequencies.
Presenters: Angela Perkins (Lafeyette College), Sidath Chandrasena (Lafayette College), Maya Nylund (Lafayette College)