Introduction to Kimberly Williams


Black android griots. The battery packs of the unhuman. Necromancy in codes, wires, and equations.

I’ve had my Twitter account for a few years; however, this year I created my Facebook and Instagram account. Honestly, I was curious but ultimately a bit frightened by social media. As a shy person, I was terrified to create a persona in a nebulous space tethered to invisible faces and all caps. But then Trayvon Martin was killed.

Trayvon Martin: young, Black man with gray t-shirt and black hat in front of a blue sky.

Trayvon Martin

Black Lives Matter catalyzed me into studying Digital Cultural Rhetoric–more specifically, in 2013, after the international exposure of Black people killed by the racist violence. Grassroots organizing and coalition building was already happening across cities; however, the digital presence and ensuring revolution led me to really consider my relationship to digital spaces as an organizing tool and communal space.

More recently, the pandemic and Black Lives Matter, has reimagined my conceptualization of community, intimacy, and space. My research interests include sound studies, Black feminism, and Black healing. Afro Pessimism and Queer Theory are conduits for my work. What is the sound of Black social death and Black resurrection? Is there rhythm between their transitions–is there syncopation linked? How are Black communities integrating spirituality, conjuring, AND technology for rebellion and coping? What does this sound like (even behind a screen)? This includes sound bathes, virtual play, and pleasure sonic in the digital atmosphere.

Necromancy in codes, wires, and equations…

Verzuz Battle flyer: Purple flyer with images of Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle with logistics of event: Sunday, September 13th, 5pm PT/8PM ET

More specifically, with texts and muses, here is my research mixtape:
How does Black Twitter curate a diasporic storytelling plane with new language and sensory?

Race After Technology book cover: Black man with sunglasses across coding lines and circles

What is the algorithm of ungendering Blackness (Hortense Spillers) in this new age of software recognition and technology?

How does white power and terror simultaneously capture and advance the conceptualization of time and futurism with its shift in technological advances while clutching the metal collar from slavery?

For this fellowship, I am excited to expand my imagination in a virtual, communal setting with the other incredible fellows and focus on digital healing, cultural sound, and Black Twitter.

About me:
I am from Virginia but traveled quite a bit because my father was in the Air Force. Unfortunately, now I live in Florida. My main dietary group is bread. I have owned a chinchilla and miss her dearly; her name was Primrose. I am a huge music nerd and love swapping playlists from soul to pop to industrial. I am fascinated by New Jack Swing’s relationship to industrial music. I love horror movies and truly believe we sleep on them as not a viable genre and source of cultural pulse.

About Author

Kimberly Williams

I study sound studies, critical race theory, and social media. Chinchillas are vastly underrated.

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