Marisa Parham




Current Appointment

Director, Five College Digital Humanities & Professor of English, Amherst College, with affiliations in the departments of Black Studies & Film and Media Studies


PhD, M.Phil., M.A. – Columbia University : English and Comparative Literature | B.A. – Washington University

⇢ Please click here for my full and downloadable CV

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⇢ And go here for my faculty page, which includes links to current course information

Marisa Parham also directs the Five College Digital Humanities Initiative, which focuses both on helping artists and scholars to integrate technology into humanities scholarship and creative work, and also to bring those disciplines to influence technological growth and spread.

Her current teaching and research projects focus on texts that problematize assumptions about time, space, and bodily materiality, particularly as such terms share a history of increasing complexity in texts produced by African Americans. Please click here to learn more about her writing and research.

Currently I teach classes focusing on African-American literary and cultural studies, modern American popular culture, and technologies and representation. I generally teach in one of two modes, either working to train students to use the insights of intersectionality, media theory, and postcolonial thinking to reconcile social and historical concerns with the techniques of literary hermeneutics, or helping them to critique but also to produce across different kinds of media, with an emphasis on the range of techniques now often referred to as “digital humanities.” In both kinds of classes I emphasize close attention to textual nuance and the development of clear, concise argumentation. This is as true for “paper” classes as it is for work with new media and digital humanities.

Classes I have taught in recent years include a lecture and production class on Spike Lee (co-taught w/ John Drabinski), Girlpower!, a digital humanities class focused on gender, feminism, and popular culture, Ghosts in Shells, which is a seminar on passing and the posthuman, and a seminar on space and time in Toomer, Faulkner, and Morrison.

I have taught at Amherst College since 2001. Before that I taught for several years at Hunter College, and also taught high school students through Upward Bound (at Columbia’s Double Discovery Center).


Board of Directors, Mass Humanities (2014 – current); Board of Directors, Amherst Cinema Arts Center (2005 – 2013);

Some Awards and Honors

Huntington Library Research Fellowship; Amherst College Faculty Research Award Program; Mellon Foundation teaching innovation grants; Senior Sabbatical Fellowship, Amherst College; Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow, W. E. B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research (The Hutchins Center), Harvard University; Miner Crary Sabbatical Research Fellowship, Amherst College; Mellon-Mays Predoctoral and Doctoral Grants; Woodrow Wilson Travel & Research Grant; Residency Award, School of Criticism and Theory; Marjorie Hope Nicholson Fellowship, Columbia University; magna cum laude, Washington University


Modern Language Association (MLA); American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA); American Studies Association (ASA); Caribbean Philosophical Association (CPA); Digital Games Research Association;

Writing & Research


Marisa Parham
Professor of English and Director,
Five College Digital Humanities

Amherst College
Department of English
P.O. Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002

mparham at amherst dot edu


Click here to make a phone, Skype, or in person appointment