The Bell Ringer

The Bell Ringer is the NEW! official blog of the Critical Race Theory Collective (CRTc). Launched in Fall 2022, the blog features scholarly essays written by CRTc members and contributing authors from around the world. We welcome interdisciplinary scholars, LIS professionals, educators, community organizers and activists, and students to submit your work and share your knowledge, experience, and expertise.

The phrase “bell ringer” has multiple connotations — one is to sound the alarm on important news. Our blog is also named in reverence and honor of two Black liberation scholars and path-pavers — Derrick Bell and bell hooks.

Editorial Team:
Stephanie Birch, UConn Library (Managing Editor)
Dr. Alice Corble, University of Sussex (Associate Editor)
Dr. Tony Dunbar, Dominican University (Assistant Editor)

Thomas Jackson Letters

I was honored to join a project in Fall 2021 that was many years into its development. By the time of my involvement, the papers of Thomas Jackson, an English-born Pennsylvania abolitionist and ropemaker, had already been accessioned, digitized, and fully transcribed by the Library of Congress. A descendant of Jackson, Dr. John Paling, has stewarded this collection of letters for many years. With the desire to make the collection searchable for researchers, educators, and the public, he has been developing a website to host the letters and their transcriptions. I partnered with Dr. Paling to process each item in the collection and generate enhanced, in-depth metadata to maximize discoverability.

Banned Books Behind Bars

Independent research examining policies and practices to ban books and restrict access to information in US prisons and other carceral environments. This work situates book-banning practices and the restriction of information within systems of white supremacy and racial oppression, tying these policies and practices to the history of Black enslavement in the US, geographies of racial terror and violence, and the everpresent school-to-prison pipeline. It further explores the significance of book banning on incarcerated people and how restricting access to information supports the privatized prison industrial complex — not public safety or the public good.
Contact me for inquiries or requests for speaking engagements.

War in Ukraine: Race, Racism, and Racial Identity in the Eastern Bloc

In collaboration with Zach Claybaugh. At the onset of the war, when Ukranians began to seek refuge in neighboring nations, Black and POC Ukranians and immigrants reported racial violence and discrimination. This page explores the conflict between Ukraine and Russia through a racial lens and examines the racial biases in media coverage. It provides sources and resources on Black history and racial identity-making in Eastern Europe. View the LibGuide.

Critical Race Theory Collective

The Critical Race Theory Collective (CRTc) is an international cohort of LIS professionals and scholars who are interested in CRTc and its multidisciplinary applications. Our collective encourages continuous dialogue on CRT in libraries and information studies through our work as an editorial team to publish an annual special issue on race in Education for Information. Our vision is to grow a movement of scholar-activists in the LIS field working across international borders to address issues of injustice in our institutions, industries, and communities.

Intellectual Freedom on Lock Down: Book Banning in US Prisons

Intellectual Freedom on Lock Down: Book Banning in US Prisons

Intellectual freedom is a right frequently denied to people in carceral systems. Access to information is a form of privilege and, therefore, power. This 2021 Banned Books Week virtual display examines the proliferation of prison book banning in its various forms and highlights a small selection of banned books available in the University of Florida Libraries. Click here to view the virtual display

Digital Collaborations on Black History in Florida

Digital Collaborations on Black History in Florida is a pilot project of the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries. The project seeks to elevate the position of Black history within the Digital Humanities through community-anchored collaboration. The project culminated in a two-day workshop at the University of Florida in July 2019. View the Final Report

Incarceration + COVID-19 Global News Project

Incarceration + COVID-19: Sourcing the crowd for global news information on incarcerated populations during COVID-19

This crowd-sourcing document captures global news information pertaining to incarcerated populations in prisons, jails, and detention centers during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
View the project

Workspace: A Research Planner Workbook
Streamline your research project and get organized with this free workbook.
Download the PDF