The University of Virginia President’s Commission on Slavery and the University (PCSU) and its consortium, Universities Studying Slavery (USS), are proud to announce that more schools have joined this exciting collaborative venture. We welcome the University of Mississippi, the University of South Carolina, the University of North Carolina, and Hollins University to the group!
Founded in 2013, the “University of Mississippi (UM) Slavery and the University Working Group” has been busy exploring the school’s relationship to slavery. The group includes 38 faculty members from across the University, primarily in History, African American Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, English, Southern Studies and Education, but also from the Library & Special Collections, University Museums, Computer Science and Engineering, and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation. The working group is co-chaired by History Professor Chuck Ross and Sociology Professor Jeffrey Jackson. Their team has been busy with archival research and community engagement. They are also preparing to launch in fall 2016 an archaeological study of slave life on campus.
The University of South Carolina, which started to investigate its own past in 2011 through “Slavery at South Carolina College,” a student-led project (http://library.sc.edu/digital/slaveryscc/index.html), has also joined. Their team includes History Professor Robert Weyeneth and Art History professor Lydia Brandt.
The University of North Carolina’s Task Force on UNC-Chapel Hill History has also joined, led by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Winston B. Crisp, American Indian Center Director Amy Locklear Hertel, History Professor James Leloudis, and University Historian Cecelia Moore.
Last, Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, has formed a heritage committee charged by the University’s president with studying the institution’s connection to slavery. Political Science Professor Jon Bohland is chairing that effort.
The PCSU and USS continue to talk with several other schools. We anticipate that more will be joining the consortium in the coming months.