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In Memoriam: Ángel David Nieves

It is with great shock and sadness that we share the news that our faculty colleague, Ángel David Nieves, Dean’s Professor of Public and Digital Humanities, Professor of Africana Studies and History, and Director of the Humanities Center in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH), has passed away.

Ángel was not only a beloved member of our CSSH community but also a driver of its intellectual vitality. Beginning with his arrival in 2020, Ángel convened and collaborated with colleagues, students, and community partners in his multiple roles as Director of Public Humanities, Director of the Public History program, and Director of the Humanities Center. His multidisciplinary scholarship and teaching focused on the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, social justice, and technology, with an emphasis on the United States and South Africa. He was the author and editor of several books, including An Architecture of Education: African American Women Design the New South and People, Practice, Power: Digital Humanities Outside the Center. His articles have appeared in journals from American Quarterly to The Journal of Planning History, among many others. Most recently, he was working on a digital book project, Apartheid Heritage(s): A Spatial History of South Africa’s Black Townships, that combines human rights violations testimony and 3D reconstruction technologies of sites damaged or destroyed by the apartheid-era regime.

Ángel’s research and collaborations in the Digital and Public Humanities received support from such significant agencies as the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Mellon Foundation, and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. He was Lead Co-PI on Reckonings: A Local History Platform for the Community-Archivist, a continuing project that works with members of historically marginalized communities to co-curate more accurate and more all-encompassing archives than can be achieved by conventional academic methods.

Ángel’s contributions to the humanities will also be missed by many institutions outside of Northeastern. He served on the boards of the Society of American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH), the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, and the New York State Council for the Humanities, and on the Executive Councils of such bodies as Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH) and the Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship (ILiADS).

Ángel’s dedication and contributions to our community were immense. He was an innovative researcher, an administrative leader, a selfless mentor, and a fierce advocate for his students and colleagues. Above all, he was deeply committed to justice and equity across and beyond the university. Our sympathies go out to Ángel’s family, friends, colleagues, and students for their loss.

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