Using Digital Humanities to Recover Lost Histories of Slavery
Elsa Mendoza, History Department
Digital humanities tools such as databases and digitization have offered new insights into the histories of enslaved people. These digital archives raise crucial questions about the use and access of data, the representation of race and lived experiences in databases, and the power of these tools in humanizing and dehumanizing historical narratives. This talk will explore how digital humanities can increase access to stories forgotten in the archive and the issues in replicating violent and exclusionary documents in digital form.
Bio: Elsa is an Assistant Professor in the History Department at Middlebury College and the associate curator of the Georgetown Slavery Archive. Her research focuses on the lives of people enslaved at universities as well as the financial connections between slavery and higher education in the United States. She is the co-editor of Facing Georgetown’s History: A Reader on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation (Georgetown University Press, 2021).
Elsa received her PhD in History from Georgetown University. She is a former Fulbright-Garcia Robles Fellow, and in the spring of 2022, she will be a fellow in Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History.