Palah Light Lab Launch

Palah Light Lab.

A lab meeting on Zoom during the Covid-19 pandemic, April 2020. From top left: Cody, Awa, Andrea, Margaret, and Blair.

Palah 파랗 Light Lab is excited to announce the launch of its new website and ongoing projects! 

Formed in Fall 2019, Palah 파랗 Light Lab is a creative and critical space that fosters poetry, participation, and pedagogy through technology and equity. As a knowledge-design, new media, and poetry lab, the Palah Light Lab investigates critical questions in cultural criticism along with the networked arts and humanities. Utilizing a feminist and queer-centered approach, we are interested in design anchored in the humanities and scholarship informed by transdisciplinary practices and technology. Palah Light Lab centers the question of equity at the forefront of our work, and we seek to creatively and critically engage new media in experimental ways that address pressing social issues and injustices. Based out of the University of Buffalo Department of Media Study, Palah Light Lab is funded by SUNY Diversity Faculty Fellowship and led by Dr. Margaret Rhee. The lab is co-led by Associate Director Dr. Cody Mejeur, and Creative Student Researchers Andrea Pagan (DMS), Blair Johnson (English), and Awa Sow (DMS). The lab promotes feminist creativity, mentorship, and collaboration through a creative space.

Digital humanities and new media labs are far from new, and are now established at many universities and colleges. In forming Palah Light Lab, we wanted to build on the rich traditions of research and design in these spaces while also pushing their boundaries in significant ways. We wanted Palah to be a space for making creative and critical art that falls outside of the research agendas in digital humanities labs that often prioritize new tools and methods for analysis. 

We purposely built the lab around genres and media such as poetry and video games in order to support research and creative practice as necessarily interrelated and mutually beneficial pursuits. Recent movements in digital humanities and new media spaces such as #TransformDH also challenge us to question who our research, art, labs, archives, etc. are for––who benefits from them? Who has access to them? Does our work resist and challenge systemic injustices, or does it intentionally or unintentionally perpetuate them? 

Palah Light Lab addresses and forefronts these questions by centering queer and feminist practices in how we relate to each other and make art together. We are committed to not just using technology, but also transforming it in service of social justice. To this end, the lab also focuses on working with marginalized communities to break down barriers to access, support students, share resources and stories, and build better futures.

We are currently working on a number of on-going projects, including:

 *   From the Center (Jail Based Work)

 *   The Kimchi Poetry Machine (Part II) 

 *   Social Practice Workshops for graduate students in arts, humanities, and technology studies

 *   Trans Folks Walking, a 3D, first person narrative video game about trans experiences 

 *   Editorial book and academic journal projects

 *   Development of technologies/practices in equity 

 *   Community art events and discussions

We plan to share further details, events, and activities related to these projects in the near future, and welcome new collaborators and lab members working on their own projects! 


thank the SUNY Diversity Fellowship Fund for their support of our work.