Dr. Angel David Nieves, Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Hamilton College, is also the Director of the American Studies Program, a founding member of the Cinema and Media Studies (CNMS) concentration, and in 2010 was awarded The John R. Hatch Class of 1925 Excellence in Teaching Award at Hamilton. Dr. Nieves also serves as Co-Director (w/Janet Simons) of Hamilton’s Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi), a $1.75 million Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant funded project (http://www.dhinitiative.org). Dr. Nieves received his interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the History of Urban Development and Africana Studies from Cornell University. His co-edited book (w/Leslie Alexander), ‘We Shall Independent Be:’ African American Place-Making and the Struggle to Claim Space in the U.S. (University Press of Colorado, 2008), examines African American efforts to claim space in American society in the face of fierce resistance. Dr. Nieves has published essays in the Journal of Planning History; Places Journal: A Forum of Design for the Public Realm; International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics; Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies; Resilience: The Journal of Environmental Humanities, and in several edited collections, including Places of Pain and Shame: Dealing With Difficult Heritage (Routledge, 2009) and The Heritage of Iconic Planned Communities: The Challenges of Change (UPenn Press, forthccoming). He has served as Associate Editor, of Fire!!!: A Multimedia Journal of Black Studies, an on-line only journal of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).
Dr. Nieves’s recent scholarly work and community-based activism critically engage with issues of race and the built environment in cities across the Global South. He is acting as an advisor to “The Power of Place,” a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture scheduled to open in 2015. From 2010 to 2013 he worked with a team of undergraduate students from Middlebury College on the Soweto Historical GIS (SHGIS) Project, and in 2014 he was awarded (w/ Prof. Alyson Gill of Arkansas State University) an NEH Office of Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant of $59,510 for "Dangerous Embodiments: Theories, Methods, and Best Practices for Historical Character Modeling in Humanities 3D Environments.” The award was for the development and testing of a comprehensive typology for avatar (graphical representations of a user or the user's character) creation in historical simulations in digital heritage environments. Dr. Nieves was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Africa Network, a consortium of national liberal arts colleges that actively promote the study of Africa through scholarship and teaching, and his digital research and scholarship have been featured both in Newsweek and on MSNBC.com.