Yale to host seminar on African-American history

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Yale University will host an eight-day summer seminar for scholars, Yale graduate students and educational professionals from a variety of cultural organizations to explore ways to present African-American history and culture to the broader public.

Hosted by Yale’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition (GLC) and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), the seminar will attract representatives from museums, historic sites, libraries and other institutions across the nation to the Yale campus July 22–29. The summer program is a cornerstone of the Yale Public History Institute, dedicated to advancing connections and collaborative opportunities between academic institutions and other educational organizations that interpret history for the general public.

The seminar will feature sessions led by Yale faculty members and pre-eminent public historians on ways to interpret the unique African-American historical perspective. In addition to attending scheduled sessions, participants will break into teams to develop an interpretive project for each organization represented at the seminar.

In the year following the seminar, those who have taken part in the program will continue to collaborate on their respective projects with the participating organization.

Richard Rabinowitz, an institute organizer and president of American History Workshop, remarked, “We hope this institute helps not only to bridge the divide between the academy and public history institutions, but also to generate deep exploration of issues relating to the interpretation and analysis of African-American history and culture.”

Featured speakers from Yale include GLC director David W. Blight and professors Robert Harms, Jonathan Holloway, and Matthew Frye Jacobson. Among the other speakers are Lonnie G. Bunch III and Rex M. Ellis, NMAAHC; Christy S. Coleman, American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar; Lynda B. Kaplan, American History Workshop; Fath Davis Ruffins, National Museum of American History; and Jill Sanderson, independent museum education specialist.

Part of the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University, GLC was established in 1998 to promote the study of all aspects of slavery and its destruction. The center seeks to foster an improved understanding of the role of slavery in the founding of the modern world by promoting interaction and exchange between scholars, teachers, and public historians through publications, educational outreach, and other programs and events.

For more information, visit the seminar’s website.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345

Dana Schaffer: dana.schaffer@yale.edu, 203-432-3339