Digital Histories of Slavery

AHA Session 102
Association for Computers and the Humanities 2
Saturday, January 3, 2015: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Gramercy Suite B (New York Hilton, Second Floor)
Philip Misevich, St. John's University
Taste the Sweat to Check for Sickness: The Queering Slavery Working Group and Digital Histories of Slavery
Vanessa M Holden, Michigan State University; Jessica Johnson, Michigan State University
(Dis)covering Race: Legal Records and the Fragmentary Histories of American Families
William G. Thomas III, University of Nebraska–Lincoln; Jennifer E. Guiliano, University of Maryland at College Park
Philip Misevich, St. John's University

Session Abstract

This session will explore the history of American slavery and freedom and the ways digital scholars have attempted to ask new questions in this important field of scholarship. The history of slavery has been one of the most robust and vibrant fields in the discipline. Indeed, scholars working with relational databases, geographic information systems, network analysis tools, and visualization technologies have attempted to reconstitute the transatlantic slave trade, trace family relationships over time, and assess the growth and trajectory of the American slave system. This roundtable panel features digital scholarship addressing major questions in the history of slavery. These research projects foreground historiographical questions and harness computational strategies in the service of historical argument. They offer exemplary efforts to assemble the fragmentary records related to slavery in the digital space, provide access to scholars and the public, and use digital methodologies to advance historical interpretations.

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