Members of St. Mary’s College’s faculty and staff participated in the conference, Universities, Slavery, Public Memory, and the Built Landscape, which took place at the University of Virginia, Oct. 18 – 20, 2017.
More than 500 people attended the three-day conference, which also included speakers from the National Museum of African American History and Culture, many other universities and colleges, and historic sites and museums. Participants explored the relationship between slavery and the rise of higher education, and exchanged ideas about researching, interpreting, and teaching about slavery.
St. Mary’s College Archivist Kent Randell was a speaker during the panel “Identification & Interpretation Challenges in Researching the Enslaved.” Randell’s presentation focused on genealogical research and was based on his paper “Slavery, Archives, and Genealogy: From Primary Sources to Conversation.”
Led by moderator Bill Roberts, professor of anthropology, the panel “Excavating Memories, Elevating Morality: Digging for Slaves at St. Mary’s College” featured Julia King, professor of anthropology and Aldom-Plansoen Honors College Professor; Garrey Dennie, associate professor of history; Christine Wooley, associate professor of English; and Iris Ford, associate professor of anthropology. Panel members presented the recently discovered evidence that St. Mary’s Female Seminary owned slaves during the nineteenth century, and explored the history of slavery in St. Mary’s City and St. Mary’s County.