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SMR: Student Projects
Student research projects at Georgetown University relating to Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation are wide-ranging and arise through course work, collaborative research projects, and extra-curricular activities. To learn more about how the Library can support teaching, research and scholarship on issues related to Slavery, Memory and Reconciliation, visit our SMR: Instruction and Consultations page.
If you have a project you would like to add to this page, we would love to hear about it! Just send a brief description of the work to us at LibrarySMR@georgetown.edu.
Class and Collaborative Projects
If you are a Georgetown faculty member interested in discussing opportunities for research and projects relating to Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation, contact us at LibrarySMR@georgetown.edu.
Mélisande Short-Colombe created a one-woman play (with musical accompaniment) called Here I Am that premiered on April 15, 2021, in conjunction with Emancipation Day and the Universities Studying Slavery conference held at Georgetown University. This production reflects upon her experience as a descendant of the GU272 and her years at Georgetown. She used images from the University Archives, Maryland Province Archives, and Art units of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections.
- Students in Professor Adam Rothman's fall 2019 Slavery, Memory, Reconc. @ GU class researched sites on and near the Georgetown University campus with connections to slavery. In summer 2020, the Booth Family Center for Special Collections adapted that research into an online walking tour, The Price of Georgetown: A Walking Tour of Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation at Georgetown University.
- As their final projects, students in Professor Adam Rothman's Facing Georgetown's History classes created engaging media projects dealing with diverse aspects of Georgetown's history of slavery and its legacies. The Library provided instruction and equipment for creating these projects as well as access to archival collections, research assistance, and other support.
- Students in Professor Bernard Cook's Social Justice Documentary classes produced short films focused on slavery and its legacies. Two examples drawing in materials from the University Archives are: The Curtain Goes Up (spring 2020) and The Good Work (spring 2017).
Summer Student Research Projects
In summer 2019, the Library collaborated with Professor Adam Rothman on summer research projects carried out by four Research Assistants. This program will continue in the future but had to be canceled for summer 2020 while the Library was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information about future Research Fellow opportunities, contact us at LibrarySMR@georgetown.edu. Below are descriptions of the initial research projects.
- Timeline of the 1838 sale of the Maryland Jesuit Enslaved Community. Alana Hendy (F '21) created this timeline from archival materials in the Georgetown Slavery Archive, using the Timeline JS platform. The timeline spans a half-century, from the first discussions among the Maryland Catholic clergy about selling their human property in 1813 to the first documentation of members of the GU272 community as newly emancipated people in Louisiana in 1864.
- Family history of Louisa Mahoney Mason. Paul Rochford (C ’20) researched the family history of Louisa Mahoney Mason, a member of the GU272, who remained in Maryland at the time of the 1838 sale. He created a well-rounded chronology of her life, detailing specific locations, migrations, occupations, and individual or family life events of note. His research paper, available in the Georgetown Slavery Archive, reached into the third and fourth generations of the Mahoney Mason family, in some cases reaching to the early 2000s.
- Research on the history of Maringouin, Louisiana. Julia Beu (C '20) researched the history of the town of Maringouin, Louisiana, and created an annotated bibliography containing a list of sources pertaining to the town. Maringouin is the site of Jesse Batey’s estate (renamed West Oaks Plantation in 1852) where many of the GU272 were enslaved after their sale from the Maryland Jesuit plantations in 1838.
- Research on the transatlantic slave trade. Natalie Donnell, Doctoral Student in History, investigated all manner of research, scholarship, exhibitions, and initiatives that relate to the history and legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This was to support further research, scholarship, and digital projects highlighting the importance of the 2018 donation of logbook of the slave ship Mary.
Student Research and Writing
From 2014-2016, Matthew Quallen, F ’16, wrote a series of articles on Georgetown's history with slavery for The Hoya using materials from the University Archives. He also served as a member of the University's Working Group of Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation.
- “Georgetown, Financed by Slave Trading.” The Hoya, September 26, 2014.
- “Jesuit Ideals Facing the Slave Trade.” The Hoya, January 16, 2015.
- “Slavery Inextricably Tied to Georgetown’s Growth.” The Hoya, October 23, 2015.
- “Slavery’s Remnants, Buried and Overlooked.” The Hoya, September 11, 2015.
- “Beyond the 272 Sold in 1838, Plotting the National Diaspora of Jesuit-Owned Slaves.” The Hoya, April 30, 2016.