So I have a tentative interview scheduled for the history chair at a local high school which, coincidentally enough, I substitute taught at a few years back. Well, considering the size of the town maybe it’s not that coincidental. But either way. Progress! I will be interviewing my contact about how the Triangle Trade is incorporated into local curricula, if it is, if state intervention in the curricula led to any changes in how the Triangle Trade is taught, how he might advocate alternative ways of teaching about the Trade, etc. Fun times. Hopefully this will inform, at least in part, the museum education part of my dissertation. In the meantime, a blast from a few weeks past, below the fold. (more…)
Not reinventing the wheel, Part Deux. With pictures! Friday, Aug 30 2013
Hating the Dutch isn’t just for Austin Powers’ dad anymore. Tuesday, Aug 27 2013
So. As previously stated, a common theme I’ve discovered when researching the history of slave owning patriots, particularly those living in Western New England, is fobbing that hatred off onto New York (and, by extension, the Dutch, who would ultimately be forced to give way to Anglo Americans). I therefore think it might be useful to explore this a bit. I’m not sure if this will be a major part of my dissertation/research, or if it will be an aside for my own edification and knowledge. Still, I think it worth to listen to the voice of an enslaved woman who experienced the realities of Dutch colonialism herself, an orator known to history as Sojourner Truth.
How to explain semiotics in one easy step. Tuesday, Aug 20 2013
“They say the shape of Cheshire looks like a minuteman.” I studied the map of Cheshire, posted as an insert to an article about the town’s borders supposedly having more corners than any other town or city in Massachusetts. According to one of my interviewees, he had found out that the number of corners was overcounted. Still, the enduring image of the multi-cornered township seems to have a great deal of symbolic import.
The Significance of the Underground Railroad Monday, Aug 19 2013
This summer in Western Massachusetts I’ve noticed a recurring theme while discussing my research. No sooner do I parrot my elevator speech (“I focus on memories of the African-American slave trade and how they are embedded in roles, rituals and aesthetics in Atlantic World sites such as the Caribbean and New England”) than the person I’m talking to immediately says something along the lines of “you know, I just took a tour of this house that was on the Underground Railroad.”
Tracking memories of the triangle trade through Cheshire. Tuesday, Aug 13 2013
Slavery in Western MA and New York as container Saturday, Aug 10 2013
In my last post I discussed projecting slavery in the Northeast onto “undesirable” or “loser” groups by way of containing it. Or, if you will, in the service of sanitizing the overarching narrative of American history. During my Masters program at Brandeis I did a lot of research into how slavery in Cambridge (and the overall Boston area) is projected onto loyalists. Lately I’ve been trying to examine how slavery is contained and where it is projected when we discover that (gasp) patriots either enslaved Africans or were complicit in their enslavement.