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Penn and Slavery:

A Symposium organized by the Penn & Slavery Project
& the Program on Race, Science, and Society
  • Schedule
Receipt of payment for advertising two courses at the University of Pennsylvania in the North-Carolina Star newspaper, 1850
Receipt of payment for advertising two courses at the University of Pennsylvania in the North-Carolina Star newspaper, 1850

Symposium: April 3-4, 2019

This symposium will explore Penn’s relationship with the institution of slavery. Presentations by undergraduates currently conducting research as part of the Penn and Slavery Project, will be accompanied by roundtable and panel discussions by some of the nation’s leading scholars of slavery, race, and medicine. Especially in 2019, given the significance of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to British North America, this symposium affirms Penn’s commitment to engaging with the history of slavery and responds to President Gutmann’s call to offer educational and cultural programming that illuminates Penn’s connections to slavery.

Co-Hosted by the Penn & Slavery Project and the Program on Race, Science & Society (housed in the Center for Africana Studies) with support from the Office of the Provost, the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, The Penn Medicine Office of Inclusion and Diversity, and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies.

  • Wednesday, April 3, 2019

    4:00-4:15p   Welcome: Dr. Wendell Pritchett, Provost of the University of Pennsylvania

    4:15- 5:45p   Introductions: William Noel, Director of the Kislak Center & the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies

    Plenary roundtable:

    Kathleen Brown, David Boies Professor of History; Director of the Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women; Director of the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program, University of Pennsylvania

    Dorothy Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology; Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights; Professor of Africana Studies; Director of the Program on Race, Science & Society, University of Pennsylvania

    Deirdre Cooper Owens, Associate Professor of History, Queens College, CUNY; Director for the Program in African American History, Library Company of Philadelphia

    5:45- 6:45p   Reception

  • Thursday, April 4, 2019

    9:30-10:00a    Registration, Coffee provided

    10:00-11:15a  Session 1: Penn & Slavery Project Research Findings 
    Research presentation by current undergraduate seminar students

    11:15-11:30a  15-minute break, refreshments provided

    11:30- 12:30p Session 2: Working on the Penn & Slavery Project: Current Research Areas, Strategies, and Ideas for the Future 

    Moderator: Daniel Richter, Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History; Richard S. Dunn Director of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania

    Arielle Julia Brown, Cultural Planning Consultant for the Penn & Slavery Project; Public Programs Developer, Penn Museum 

    Alexis Broderick Neumann, Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow for the Penn & Slavery Project and the University of Pennsylvania Libraries

    Paul Mitchell, PhD Candidate in Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania

    VanJessica Gladney, Public History Fellow for the Penn & Slavery Project

    Breanna Moore, Independent Scholar

    12:30-1:00p  Session 3: Reimagining Penn’s History through Augmented Reality 

    VanJessica Gladney

    Laurie Allen, Director of Digital Scholarship, University of Pennsylvania Libraries

    Paul Farber, Artistic Director of Monument Lab; Lecturer in Fine Arts/Urban Studies, University of Pennsylvania

    1-2:30p        Lunch (provided)

    2:30-4:30p   Session 4: Slavery and Medicine: What was Penn’s Role?

    Moderator: Dorothy Roberts 

    Daina Ramey Berry, Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor of History, University of Texas at Austin

    Sowande’ Mustakeem, Associate Professor of History and of African and African-American Studies, Washington University in St. Louis 

    Rana Hogarth, Assistant Professor of History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Christopher Willoughby, Lapidus Center Postdoctoral Fellow, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library

    4:30- 5:30p  Reception

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