Archaeology students excavating in the area of the Wilson family house, Seneca Village, Central Park, NYC, 2011. Photograph by Herbert Seignoret. Courtesy of the Institute for the Exploration of Seneca Village History.


This symposium will bring together scholars who have worked on nineteenth-century free African American communities in the eastern and midwestern regions of the United States. Speakers will discuss how they have approached studying these communities, many of which were bulwarks in the abolition and early civil rights movements and places where residents formed positive social connections both within and across racial lines. Yet, these important communities have been largely left out of mainstream history. Presenters will explain what their research reveals about these communities and will collectively discuss what these communities, in turn, might reveal to us about living in our own divided time.

Speakers include Christopher Barton, Francis Marion University; Whitney Battle-Baptiste, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Diana diZerega Wall, The City College of New York; Christopher Fennell, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Michael J. Gall, Richard Grubb and Associates, Inc.; Joan H. Geismar, Archaeologist; Alexandra Jones, Archaeology in the Community; Nedra Lee, University of Massachusetts Boston; Christopher Lindner, Bard College; Meredith B. Linn, Bard Graduate Center; Allison Manfra McGovern, Archaeologist; Christopher N. Matthews, Montclair State University; Paul R. Mullins, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Matthew Palus, University of Maryland; Nan A. Rothschild, Columbia University; and Rebecca Yamin, Archaeologist.

Please check back soon for a detailed schedule.