Pedagogy: Teaching about Slavery at one's home Institution

Let's use this space for exchanging ideas and resources about teaching about slavery at one's own institution. What are the most effective strategies for encouraging students to do careful and creative research, using university and college archives and Special Collections, probate and deed records, letter and diaries, newspaper accounts and so forth? How does one develop responsible partnerships with local and descendant families, related to enslaved communities (as well as those who owned slaves or benefited from slavery)? What forms of public programs--including exhibitions, walking tours, websites, and community forums--might students help organize on these topics? How does an instructor responsibly engage with the emotional and ideological challenges faced by students and community members reflecting on the dynamics of slavery and the slave trade "close to home"?

Courses Taught

(Please add to this growing list of courses and related educational initiatives)

Mark Auslander, Oxford College of Emory University. 1999-2001. Courses with research components on slavery at Emory College. (Students helped restore an historic African-American cemetery, and developed websites and exhibitions on histories of slavery and African-American labor at the institution. Some of the educational challenges faced in these courses are reflected upon in: Mark Auslander, "Saying Something Now: Documentary Work and the Voices of the Dead.." Michigan Quarterly Review, Fall 2005.

Sven Beckert.(History, Harvard) Has twice offered: History 84G. Research Seminar: "Slavery at Harvard". To be next offered: Fall 2010.

Ira Berlin and Herbert Brewer. 2008-09. University of Maryland. Research seminar on slavery on the forerunner campuses to the University of Maryland.

Dr. Sandy Darity. UNC at Chapel Hill. 2004-07. Course: "The Economic and Social History of the Black Presence at the University of North Carolina"

Ywone Edwards-Ingram (Colonial Williamsburg and Anthropology, College of William and Mary) is teaching a freshman seminar (Spring 2010), "Invisible Heritage," which focuses in part on William and Mary itself: the course introduces students to ongoing efforts to research and present African-American history and culture to the public, focusing on factors that have helped or hindered these activities at key historic sites, museums, libraries, and other venues.