(thesis advisor)Loretta Wolozin
May 21 2019
This thesis examines the impact of patrilineal genealogical archives and archival tools of practice on black maternal histories in the deep south. It exposes blind spots in the archive and explores a remedy to the fallacies of the historical focus on maleness and its inherent suppression of female lineages. The method of evaluating a circumvention of the archive is through the transformational potential of machine learning. By examining the first forty years of the United States Federal Census data from the postbellum state of Georgia, an algorithmic clustering model isolates attributes of the archive that pertain to black female histories. This concept is encapsulated as a collection of written portraits and data visualizations organized by a multi-dimensional classification scheme facilitated by the machine. This thesis asserts that this novel taxonomy establishes an intersection between the Census and the individuals situated within it that reconstructs matrilineal discontinuities and brings prominence to an underrepresented class.
There’s more! What you see on this site is only what is viewable online. Please visit our website to find out more about what’s in the archives.