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(Working) Thesis Title: In Search of Blackness Online: Encountering Transatlantic Black Diaspora on Social Networking Sites

Thesis Description:

My research offers a transatlantic study of digital blackness. My key objective is to expand discussions of blackness and digital blackness to locate a version of the latter that is collectively constructed, negotiated and exchanged across the Atlantic using social media. By analysing moments of encounter across social media I will examine how a digital black diasporic consciousness is imagined, categorised and policed across transatlantic borders. My research is located at the intersection of Black diaspora studies and Black digital humanities and aims to navigate the terrain of digital blackness as envisaged by Black Atlantic citizens of Anglophone countries - focusing primarily on Black Britons, Black Americans and Black Jamaicans. 


Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:

Conference Papers:

  • ‘Dissecting the Core Strategies of Millennial Black Feminism’. The Sexuality and Gender (GROLES) 8th Annual Conference, The University of Birmingham, Birmingham, U.K. (June 8 2018)
  • 'Reclaiming African Heritages and Cultures within Millennial Black Feminist Texts’. Women of the Global South and its Diasporas: Rights, Representation, Activism, University of Leeds, Leeds, U.K. (June 5 2018)


  • Lead a seminar for the American Studies MA module "Approaches to American Studies" on Digital Humanities. (October 2018)
  • ESOL teaching assistant, Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College, Birmingham. Adult Learners. (February 2018 - June 2018)
  • Designed and lead "An Introduction to Black Studies: Weekly Reading Group", Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College, Birmingham. Delivered to Year 12 - 13. (September 2017 - April 2018)
  • Teacher of functional skills (Pre-GCSE English), Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College, Birmingham. (September 2017 - January 2018)

Research Placements: 

  • Research Assistant as part of the Impact team working to assemble information for the Impact Case Study on the Centre for Research in Race in Rights. (September - October 2018)
  • Administrative Assistant for the AHRC-funded project, "Geographies of Black Protest", under Dr Karen Salt. (2017-2018)
  • Research assistant for Dr John Fagg collating data and working in digital archives for the monograph Re-envisioning Everyday Life: American Genre Scenes, 1900-1940 (August 2015)


Awards, Grants and Scholarships:

  • Cohort Development Fund, M4C, awarded £3,000 grant to run Anticipating Black Futures Symposium
  • Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership (AHRC), The University of Nottingham, 2018-2021
  • Undergraduate Research Scholarship, The University of Birmingham, 2015

Name: Keisha Bruce

PhD: Black Studies

University email address:

Twitter: @keishastweets

About Me: I completed my BA in English and American Literature at The University of Birmingham (2013-2016), and my MA in American Studies at The University of Nottingham (2016-2017). After taking a year out to mentor and teach in a sixth form college, I was awarded Midlands4Cities funding and progressed onto my PhD in Black Studies. 


Supervisors and Institution(s):

Dr Karen Salt (The University of Nottingham)

Dr Jennifer Birks (The University of Nottingham)

Dr Ruth Page (The University of Birmingham)


American Studies Association


Other Research Interests:

  • Black Feminism, Womanhood and Girlhood
  • Black Pop-Culture 
  • 20th & 21st Century African-American Literature
  • African-American History