Scarlet & Black Undergraduate Research Assistant Positions for 2023-2024

The Scarlet and Black Research Center is looking for undergraduate students to join our research team. We invite applications for undergraduate research assistants for the 2023-2024 academic year. Students will earn 3 credits through the Aresty RA Program while gaining research experience with a focus on African American history. Applications are due by April 15, 2023. Learn more about the program and application process below.

Interested students are encouraged to contact Dr. Jesse Bayker with any questions.

Project Description and RA Responsibilities

How to Apply

About the Aresty RA Program

Project Description and RA Responsibilities

Project: Scarlet and Black Digital Archive: Documenting African American History in New Jersey (

The Scarlet and Black Research Center seeks research assistants with a strong interest in African American history. Working closely with the digital archivist at the center, the research assistants will support the development of the Scarlet and Black Digital Archive and related initiatives.

Current digital history initiatives include:

  • New Jersey Slavery Records, an open access database that documents the history of slavery in New Jersey communities through digital archival sources.
  • Black Voices at Rutgers, a portal that helps students and researchers discover African American oral history interviews with a focus on Rutgers and life in New Jersey.
  • Black Camden Oral History Project, a new effort to preserve the history of African American life and student activism in Camden, New Jersey, through oral history interviews and digital preservation of historical documents and ephemera.
  • Scarlet and Black Digital Archive, a publicly accessible educational resource that features primary sources documenting African American history in New Jersey.
  • Scarlet and Black virtual walking tour highlighting African American history sites at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden.

The research assistants will be assigned to one of these projects based on their individual interests and the current needs of the center’s collaborative research team.

Prior experience with digital history or oral history is not required. Commitment to scholarship that supports the movement for racial justice is essential.

Applicant Responsibilities:

Responsibilities vary by assignment and may include:

  • Research in historical newspaper databases.
  • Manuscript research at Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives at Alexander Library.
  • Reading and transcribing digital scans of hand-written documents from the early 19th century.
  • Reviewing and organizing oral history interviews to create subject and location indexes.
  • Compiling biographical profiles for oral history participants.
  • Using historical visual sources to create a digital exhibit.

How to Apply

To apply for the Aresty RA position at the Scarlet and Black Research Center, access this job posting on the Aresty Research Center website:

You can find this opportunity in the Aresty system by searching for the the project title: “Scarlet and Black Digital Archive: Documenting African American History in New Jersey.”

You will need to submit the following materials:

  • A single-spaced, 1-2 page essay describing your interest in the project and your qualifications. The essay should also include your post-undergraduate and career plans if you know them.
  • A resume, which should include information about employment history, internships, relevant courses, research skills, and any organizations and/or activities you have partaken in at Rutgers.
  • Your most recent transcript (automatically uploaded; you do not need to order this).

About the Aresty RA Program

The Aresty Research Assistant (RA) Program enables students to gain their first authentic research experiences by supporting faculty research projects during the academic year. RAs learn valuable research skills by working side by side with professors on forefront research projects, while professors benefit from a structured program to recruit and train the next generation of researchers. Students selected for the program do five hours of research per week (or more by arrangement with their professor). Selected students also attend peer group meetings with other undergraduate researchers to practice scholarly communication, explore research ethics, design posters, and discuss research methodology.

Aresty Research Assistants are expected to:

  • Work on the project for at least five hours per week.
  • Attend five peer discussion group (biweekly) meetings per semester to discuss their progress and learn essential research skills.
  • Learn to effectively communicate the importance of their research in the fall semester.
  • Create and present a poster based on their research in the spring semester.
  • Participate in the university-wide Undergraduate Research Symposium.
  • Receive 3-credits (P/NC) for the year.
  • Passing grades are determined by contributions to research and by active participation in the Aresty Center peer discussion groups.

Visit the Aresty Research Center website to learn more about the Aresty RA Program, eligibility requirements, and application process.

Linked Data, Omeka S, and New Jersey Slavery Records – DHI Event on Mar. 29, 2023

Jesse Bayker

Created by the Scarlet and Black Research Center, New Jersey Slavery Records is a new portal that aims to document the history of slavery in our communities through digital archival sources and linked open data.

In this workshop, digital archivist Jesse Bayker will demonstrate the website as a tool for teaching and research. He will also discuss how our researchers are building the website using Omeka S, an open-source web publishing platform for digital cultural heritage collections. He will highlight key differences between Omeka S and Omeka Classic.

This event will be held virtually.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Proudly presented by Rutgers University Libraries and co-sponsored by the Rutgers Digital Humanities Initiative

Rutgers Welcomes Dr. Tajah Ebram as Black Studies Librarian

Rutgers University Libraries and the Black Bibliography Project (BBP) are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Tajah Ebram as Black Studies Librarian. In addition to supporting faculty and students working in Black studies, Dr. Ebram will serve as the Rutgers lead for the BBP, which seeks to revitalize the practice of bibliography for African American literary and cultural studies. She will be based in Alexander Library, collaborating across the campus and with BBP colleagues at Yale University.

Dr. Ebram received her PhD in 2020 from the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in 20th-century Black literary and cultural studies, with a focus on Black radicalisms. Her dissertation was an interdisciplinary cultural history of the MOVE Organization. Dr. Ebram comes to us from Haverford College, where she taught courses on Black Philadelphia, race and ecology, and Black feminisms and the carceral state. She brings additional expertise in cultural geography, public humanities, and digital humanities.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Ebram to the Rutgers community.

Scarlet and Black Postdoctoral Fellowships 2023-2025

The Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice (ISGRJ) at Rutgers University (New Brunswick Center) and the School of Arts and Sciences invite applications for the 2023–2025 Scarlet and Black Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Scholars engaged in the examination of the global dimensions of anti-Black racism and its impact upon the Americas (1580 to the present) are invited to apply. We are interested in research projects that examine the origins, evolution, impact, and legacy of race, difference, and the modern quest for civil and human rights.

The successful applicant must have the doctorate in history at the time of application and be no more than five years beyond receipt of the Ph.D. This two-year fellowship carries an annual salary of $60,000, health benefits, and a $5,000 research allowance.

In addition to teaching one course per year within the Department of History at Rutgers–New Brunswick, fellows will participate in weekly seminars and contribute to ongoing projects connected to the Scarlet and Black Research Center. Fellows will be expected to participate in the intellectual life of the ISGRJ and to acknowledge the support of the ISGRJ in publications and lectures that stem from work conducted during the fellowship term. All fellows will be expected to offer one public presentation during their tenure at Rutgers.

Eligibility and Criteria*

Applicants must have completed and been awarded their Ph.D. in a humanities-related field no more than five years prior to the date of application.

Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

It is university policy to provide equal employment opportunity to all its employees and applicants for employment regardless of their race, creed, color, national origin, age, ancestry, nationality, marital or domestic partnership or civil union status, sex, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, disability status, liability for military service, protected veteran status, affectional or sexual orientation, atypical cellular or blood trait, genetic information (including the refusal to submit to genetic testing), or any other category protected by law. As an institution, we value diversity of background and opinion, and prohibit discrimination or harassment on the basis of any legally protected class in the areas of hiring, recruitment, promotion, transfer, demotion, training, compensation, pay, fringe benefits, layoff, termination or any other terms and conditions of employment. For additional information please see the Non-Discrimination Statement at the following web address:

*Eligibility includes individuals with current status under the DACA Program, as well as individuals whose status may have lapsed but who continue to meet all the USCIS guidelines for DACA

Application Guidelines

Applications should be addressed to Professor Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Post-Doc Search Chair, and submitted electronically to

Applications should include the following materials: letter of interest, C.V., research proposal, writing sample (no longer than 15 pages), and at least three confidential letters of reference. The deadline for applications is March 31, 2023.

COVID-19 Immunization Requirement

Under Policy 60.1.35, Rutgers University requires all prospective employees to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated and have received a booster (where eligible) against COVID-19 prior to commencement of employment, unless the University has granted the individual a medical or religious exemption. Prospective employees who are not eligible for a booster at the time of an offer of employment must provide proof they have received a booster within two weeks (14 calendar days) of eligibility. Based on current guidance, individuals are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the final dose of any COVID-19 vaccine authorized or approved for use in the United States by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Eligibility for a booster against COVID-19 varies and is explained on the University’s web site located at Failure to provide proof of primary vaccination and booster will result in rescission of a prospective employee’s offer of employment and/or disciplinary action up to and including termination

Scarlet and Black Volume 2 wins 2022 NJSAA Author Award

Our book Scarlet and Black, Volume 2: Constructing Race and Gender at Rutgers, 1865-1945, won the 2022 New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance (NJSAA) Author Award in the edited non-fiction category!

Congratulations to editors Kendra Boyd, Marisa J. Fuentes, and Deborah Gray White and chapter authors Beatrice J. Adams, Shaun Armstead, Miya Carey, Shari Cunningham, Tracey Johnson, Eri Kitada, Brenann Sutter, Pamela Walker, Meagan Wierda, Caitlin Wiesner, Joseph Williams!

Launching the New Jersey Slavery Records Database

The Scarlet and Black Research Center is proud to announce the launch of our new database New Jersey Slavery Records. This website aims to document the history of slavery in our communities through digital archival sources and linked open data. We developed this database in collaboration with On These Grounds: Slavery and the University, a cross-institutional digital initiative funded by the Mellon Foundation.

The New Jersey Slavery Records project is led by Jesse Bayker, Digital Archivist at the Scarlet and Black Research Center. Our team includes Francesca Giannetti, Digital Humanities Librarian at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and graduate assistants Lindsey Dixon, Isaac Guzmán, and Adam McNeil.

Rooted in Scarlet and Black, Volume 1

The New Jersey Slavery Records project builds on the work of Rutgers historians who took a deep dive into the historical connections between slavery and the university and wrote the book Scarlet and Black, Volume 1: Slavery and Dispossession in Rutgers History, edited by Deborah Gray White and Marisa Fuentes. The researchers went on to trace Rutgers Black history to the present in Volumes 2 and 3. Following the publication of the Scarlet and Black books, archival materials documenting African American history at Rutgers from slavery to the twentieth century have been compiled and published in the Scarlet and Black Digital Archive, curated by digital archivist Jesse Bayker.

In the course of our research, we learned that Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives hold a treasure trove of documents that illuminate the history of slavery in Middlesex County beyond the walls of the university. These documents describe hundreds of events in the lives of enslaved people who lived in surrounding communities. We began creating a dataset of names and events related to these archival records.

In 2021, as the Scarlet and Black Research Center became a part of the new Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice, we set out to expand our reach beyond Rutgers with digital projects that speak to New Jersey Black history more broadly. We developed the New Jersey Slavery Records project with the aim of creating a searchable database of names and events related to archival records that document slavery in New Jersey using a linked open data model.

Partnership with On These Grounds

During the first phase of the New Jersey Slavery Records, we formed a partnership with

In July 2021, Rutgers University’s Scarlet and Black project was selected as a testing partner for 

On These Grounds: Slavery and the University. Funded by the Mellon Foundation, On These Grounds is a cross-institutional digital initiative to describe the history of enslavement found in archival materials at colleges and universities. The project is led by Michigan State University, with core partners at Georgetown University and the University of Virginia.

Central to the mission of On These Grounds is the creation of a linked open data model to organize, publish, and share information about the history of slavery with interested scholars, students, alumni, descendants, and members of the public. In the summer of 2021, the Scarlet and Black Research Center was selected as one of the testing partners for a year-long collaborative process to test the alpha version of the data model created by On These Grounds. In addition to MSU, Georgetown, and UVA, we have been working with testing partners at Washington and Lee University, University of Georgia, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Hampden-Sydney College to apply the linked open data ontology to our archival holdings, test data creation workflows, and provide feedback on revisions to the model.

Today, as we gather with our On These Grounds partners at the fall 2022 Universities Studying Slavery Conference, we launch the New Jersey Slavery Records website, which uses the platform and data model that we tested over the past year.

Insurgent Intersections Call for Papers: The Mechanisms of Global Anti-Blackness

In Fall 2021, the Department of Africana Studies at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, supported by a faculty grant from the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice, launched a multi-year project titled Insurgent Intersections: Combating Global Anti-Blackness to explore how the discipline informs global, intersectional struggles against anti-Blackness.  

In the first year of the project, we studied The Roots of Global Anti-Blackness. This year’s theme is The Mechanisms of Global Anti-Blackness, where we will probe the myriad ways anti-Blackness is operationalized in societies around the globe. Today, anti-Blackness operates in ways that are oftentimes less visible than the blatant violence of slavery and Jim Crow, but nonetheless so pervasive and insidious that it is sometimes even practiced unknowingly by its victims. Therefore, we are interested in how anti-Blackness gets embedded in laws, policies, rules, and practices that shape the lives of African-descended populations and societies at large. 

We invite scholars working on any aspect of the theme “The Mechanisms of Global Anti-Blackness” to submit abstracts for the Insurgent Intersections Spring 2023 works-in-progress series. We encourage works that are not yet fully developed. Abstracts should be 200-250 words long and can address potential topics and questions including, but not limited to, the following: 

  • How is anti-Blackness embedded in the creation and enforcement of laws in, and outside of, the U.S.?  
  • How do tech companies enact anti-Blackness in their targeting or silencing of Black content and creators? What are other ways that anti-Blackness intersects with technology? 
  • How do school boards and local governments mobilize anti-Black sentiment in their policies and guidelines? What is the relationship between education and anti-Blackness today? 
  • How is anti-Blackness enacted through land rights disputes, food injustice, and environmental racism? 
  • How does anti-Blackness intersect with gender and sexuality in the creation of immigration policies? 
  • How are Black people used in service of anti-Blackness and white supremacy? 

Selected scholars will be expected to participate actively in reading each other’s works and attending 3-4 workshop sessions. Workshops will be held online via Zoom, and are tentatively scheduled for Monday afternoons at 2 pm, pending confirmation with participants’ schedules. 

Interested in contributing? Please submit your abstract and an updated CV via email to project leaders, Dr. Kim Butler, Dr. Akissi Britton, and Dr. Shantee Rosado at by Friday, October 21, 2022 at 11:59pm and include “Mechanisms of Global Anti-Blackness” in your subject line.  

You can learn more about the Insurgent Intersections project at 

Black Studies Librarian job posting

The Rutgers University Libraries seek an innovative, collaborative and service-oriented librarian to serve as Black Studies Librarian. This new grant-funded position will support the work of the Black Bibliography Project, a Mellon Foundation supported project based at Yale University and Rutgers. Working with a team of faculty, librarians, technicians, and students across both institutions, the position will carry out data curation activities surfacing the publication histories of Black print of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as relationships among Black writers, publishers, and readers. It is expected that the Librarian will develop and contribute expertise in descriptive bibliography and linked data in order to test and implement the BBP’s data model. The position will also work with the Scarlet and Black Research Center, whose digital archive documents Black history in New Jersey, starting with the connections between slavery and the university and leading up to the present day. In addition to contributing to these projects, the Black Studies Librarian will be the subject liaison to the Department of Africana Studies and the Center for African Studies with responsibilities in reference, instruction, and collection development.

The Black Studies Librarian will:

  • engage with students and faculty who study Black history and culture to provide instruction, research, consultation, and outreach
  • develop and manage inclusive and accessible collections in support of Black and Africana Studies 
  • participate in a dynamic and proactive information literacy program
  • contribute to digital and public humanities initiatives
  • foster close intellectual partnerships between the Libraries and the academic community
  • support new modes of scholarly communication
  • build partnerships and co-curricular collaborations that advance teaching and learning; participate in university-wide initiatives, committees, and task forces as appropriate to the role

Reporting to the Associate University Librarian for Rutgers-New Brunswick, the Librarian will serve as a member of the New Brunswick Libraries Faculty. This is a grant funded, non-tenure-track faculty position, with a three-year term of appointment.

STATUS/BENEFITS: Faculty status; 12-month appointment; retirement plan; life/health insurance; prescription drug, dental, and vision plans; tuition remission; 22 vacation days annually.

This is a grant funded, non-tenure-track faculty position.

Minimum Education and Experience

• Master’s degree from an ALA accredited library school and/or advanced degree in relevant academic disciplines
• Academic background or professional experience demonstrating expertise in Black Studies.
• Familiarity with reference and instruction in an academic setting
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
• Ability to work collegially in a team-oriented environment
• A demonstrated commitment to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion

• An advanced degree in a relevant field
• Minimum of one year of professional experience in Black Studies
• Experience with digital humanities tools and/or methodologies
• Familiarity with metadata in the context of digital humanities projects, especially descriptive bibliography for rare print materials
• Familiarity with linked open data, digital archives and exhibits, and experience using Wikibase and Omeka

It should be noted that preferred qualifications are not required and the Libraries are committed to enabling the colleague recruited for this position to develop those skills. Individuals with an interest in the position who meet the required qualifications are strongly encouraged to apply.


Review of applications and interviews will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Submit resume, cover letter, and names of three references.

For more information and to apply, visit

Rutgers University Libraries seek to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for learning and work for the students, faculty, and staff of the University. The Libraries actively embrace the Rutgers vision of a “beloved community” defined by a commitment to work together to embody, reflect, and respect the complexities and differences of all our parts. The Libraries serve all institutions that make up Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey: Rutgers University–New Brunswick, Rutgers University–Newark, Rutgers University–Camden, and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. The Libraries have a highly valued staff of about 300, who are committed to innovation in access services, information literacy, and digital initiatives. Rutgers University Libraries operate with a budget of $45 million and have outstanding collections, especially in jazz and New Jerseyana. Collectively, the Libraries’ holdings include more than 4.8 million volumes. The Libraries hold memberships in ARL, BTAA, CNI, CRL, Lyrasis, NERL, PALCI, ValeNJ, SPARC (and COAPI), and use Ex Libris’ Alma and Primo, and OCLC.

Rutgers University–New Brunswick
As the flagship of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers University–New Brunswick supports over 50,000 graduate and undergraduate students in approximately 100 undergraduate programs, more than 80 graduate/professional programs, and 60 doctoral programs. Ranked by US News & World Report as among the top 25 public universities, Rutgers–New Brunswick is classified as an R1 Doctoral University (Highest research activity) by the Carnegie Classification. Spanning New Brunswick, Piscataway, and adjacent towns in central New Jersey, Rutgers–New Brunswick is accessible by public transit. 

Black Bibliography Project highlighted in Rutgers Today

Rutgers Researcher Developing Digital Bibliography of Black Authors and Print Work

This article by John Chadwick was featured in Rutgers Today on July 27, 2022.

A Rutgers researcher is teaming up with a professor from Yale to develop a digital database dedicated to the study of Black-authored and Black-published books, magazines and newspapers. 

The Black Bibliography Project, funded through a $1.7 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, seeks to remedy what scholars say is a dearth of accurate, organized data about Black print.  

The project’s mission is to provide a central clearinghouse of information that will be easily accessible to scholars and students of literature, history, Black diaspora studies and other fields. 

“I am tremendously excited by what this grant will bring to Rutgers and the many kinds of collaboration it will make possible,” said Meredith McGill, chair of the Department of English in the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences.

McGill is co-director of the initiative with Jacqueline Goldsby, a professor of English, African American studies and American studies at Yale. 

The two professors said their work builds upon a history of efforts by scholars, librarians and private collectors to identify, curate and provide access to primary source collections of writings by Black Americans.

But the project aims to go beyond collecting and curating: McGill and Goldsby want to revive the practice of descriptive bibliography – the study of books as physical objects – and apply it to Black literary studies.

Descriptive bibliography explores the production and circulation of books with the goal of uncovering insights into the role of print in human history. 

For example, McGill, a scholar of 19th-century literature, noted how the early writings of Black abolitionist lecturers Frances E.W. Harper and Sojourner Truth were pamphlets produced by white newspapermen sympathetic to the abolitionist movement.

“We think of their writings as appearing in books, but they were actually published in portable formats that could be sold or given away on their lecture tours,” McGill said. “And that’s why we’re interested in descriptive bibliography, to learn those types of stories that enrich our understanding.”

Using web technologies such as Linked Data and Wikibase, the bibliography project will cast a light on the world of Black print by allowing users to find connections and relationships that had previously gone undetected. The database will link Black authors with their publishers, show the locations where their books were produced and sold and identify crucial individuals who owned or interacted with the works through the years.

Scholars will be able to pursue challenging questions, such as which slave narratives had copyrights taken out in the names of their authors and which in the names of the publisher or whether mid-20th-century Black novels were more likely to be published in New York, Chicago or Atlanta. 

Goldsby and McGill have been overseeing a pilot program since 2019, leading a team that includes librarians and curators from Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, graduate students from Yale and Rutgers and scholar-consultants from the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Delaware and Princeton University. The pilot also has been supported through the Mellon Foundation.

The grant will support the project through 2025 and allow Goldsby and McGill to assemble a larger team and begin the process of connecting with library and archival repositories nationwide to feed the database.

For McGill, a Rutgers professor since 1996, the project provides an array of benefits to the university community. Graduate students, for example, can learn descriptive bibliography at Yale’s Beinecke Library, one of the world’s premier collections of African American literature. 

“Both Rutgers and Yale are known for their strengths in African American literary studies,” McGill said. “This grant from the Mellon Foundation will draw students and faculty from both universities together with rare book expert librarians and information design specialists to build an unprecedented knowledge base for African American studies.”

Black Camden Oral History Project featured in Rutgers Magazine

The Black Camden Oral History Project was featured in the summer 2022 issue of the Rutgers Magazine. This project is led by Kendra D. Boyd, assistant professor in the Department of History at Rutgers-Camden and an Early Career Faculty Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice, and Jesse Bayker, the research project manager and digital archivist at the Scarlet and Black Research Center.

Look out for the print issue in your mailbox or check out the interview with the project leaders online: “The Oral History of Camden” by David M. Major.

The uncertain times we’re living in certainly remind us that now is the time to record and preserve the important stories and contributions of living historical figures. The people we are interviewing, and hope to interview, are of a generation that is starting to retire, and that’s a great time to reflect on the past. For those who passed through Rutgers–Camden in the 1960s and 1970s and are finishing their careers, they can reflect on what their trajectory has been—and how their activism and experiences at Rutgers shaped their lives.

– Kendra D. Boyd

Check out our related oral history website Black Voices at Rutgers.