Northeastern University’s Public History of Slavery
Featured Project I:
by Aubrey Butts, Lindsay Day, and Kerry McDonough
Northeastern University in Boston has one of the oldest Public History programs in North America. Students are prepared to work in museums, historical societies, social activism and more through a diverse curriculum. Their education includes theory and fieldwork, along with an emphasis on the digital humanities.
After decades of experiences as a historian and cultural resources manager for the National Park Service in Boston and Lowell, Dr. Martin Blatt joined the program as Professor of the Practice in History and Director of Public History Program. In Spring 2015, his graduate course Public History of Slavery (Hist 7250) called on students to address the challenge of telling the histories of slavery in public history venues. Their final assignment was to research and present one of the many stories of slavery in New England in a way that would engage and educate a wide audience.
After reviewing submissions from the course, we have selected a few to feature on the site.
Our first curation by Lindsay Day, Aubrey Butts, and Kerry McDonough is an interactive map using Omeka’s Neatline that leads viewers through the life of Phillis Wheatley up until the publication of her first volume of poems.
For more on Wheatley’s later life, including her travels to London, see Vincent Carretta’s biography, Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage, as well as our list of resources at the end of our Virtual Walking Tour of Slavery and Revolution in Boston.
“Boston African American National Historic Site Massachusetts.” National Park Services. n.d. Access July 15, 2015.“Biography for Dr. Martin Blatt.” Northeastern University. n.d. Access July 15, 2015.Butts, Aubrey, Lindsay Day, and Kerry McDonough. “Locating Phillis Wheatley.” NEU Public History. May 1, 2015. Accessed July 15, 2015. Caretta, Vincent. Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage. UGA Press Website. n.d. Access July 15, 2015Kugler, Emily and Katherine Stevens. “Virtual Walking Tour of Slavery and Revolution in Boston.” BostonMiddlePassage.org. January 2015. Access July 15, 2015.
“Lowell National Historical Park Massachusetts“National Park Services. n.d. Access July 15, 2015.
“M.A. with Public History Concentration” Northeastern University. n.d. Access July 15, 2015.
Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. Omeka.org George Mason University.n.d. Access July 15, 2015.
Scholars’ Lab. Neatline.Org. University of Virginia Library. n.d. Access July 15, 2015.