Destiny Wiley-Yancy

Destiny is a senior at Smith College double majoring in Government and Africana Studies. She is interested in the meanings of freedom for imprisoned black women during the mid-twentieth century global freedom struggles. Destiny’s interest in the digital humanities stems from her past work as a student journalist where she used digital mediums such as video, photography, and audio to tell undertold stories about the world around her. She began an iteration of “Linkages Beyond Borders” during Summer 2019 as an undergraduate research fellow at Yale University’s Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration. She is excited to develop a geospatial map to illustrate the linkages between seemingly disparately located women. In Fall 2018, Destiny studied abroad in South Africa where she researched African women’s economic agency within urban spaces. In Spring 2019, she studied abroad at SOAS, University of London where she studied African Studies. This past semester, she has worked on Professor Elisabeth Armstrong’s Third World Feminisms Fellowship as a Quigley Fellow in the Department of the Study of Women and Gender. Destiny is a proud first-generation college student from South Central Los Angeles.

Access Destiny Wiley-Yancy’s project sites:

StoryMaps Website

Scalar Website

Linkages Beyond Borders:

Imprisoned Black Women’s Articulations of Freedom in the United States and South Africa

This is a geospatial digital humanities and carceral history project about the lives of two incarcerated women during the mid-twentieth century global black freedom struggles in the United States and South Africa. This project seeks to bring together prison narratives and visualization of space to examine the meanings of freedom for imprisoned black women as depicted through their prison writings. This project will draw upon a range of methodological techniques such as literary analysis and biographical narratives in order to map a geospatial history of incarcerated women. The textual sources employed in this project will connect prison writings, poetry, prison correspondence, editorials, pamphlets, and memory to understand the lives of two women: Ericka Huggins, who was imprisoned in Connecticut from 1969-1971 and Theresa Ramashamola, who was imprisoned in Pretoria from 1984-1991. These women, though separated in space and time, are emblematic of the global network of black liberation activists whose efforts transcended national geographic borders.

The primary objective of this project is to create a geospatial map of incarcerated women’s prison writings using ArcGIS to illustrate the shared experiences of incarcerated women in the United States and South Africa. This map will examine space as a means of illustrating the transnational meanings of freedom for incarcerated black women and how those meanings are imbued with issues of representation and power. Relatedly, this map will illustrate how integrating narrative with mapping can help reveal particularities of how blackness shapes the experiences of space and place across time. Lastly, representing the transnational movements of the United States and South Africa provides simulations of travel to represent conceptualizations of proximity and distance, imagined and real boundaries, and shared experiences across multiple places. As a complement to the geospatial map, the project will also include a story map to publish the several pages of Huggins’s and Ramashamola’s prison writings.