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Activating the Past: Historical Memory in the Black Atlantic

The project examines memories of slavery and the rise of a Black Atlantic cultural economy embedded in sacred sites and "activated" by rituals in West Africa, the Caribbean, and mainland North America.

Andrew Apter (PI, History), Brenda Stevenson (History), José Moya (History). ($33,500 over two years.)

Coastal zones of creolization through trade are related to each other, in the development of a global Atlantic system, and to the hinterland markets and societies that they mediated. Empirical research focuses on the spatial association of memories with shrines, and the ritual practices through which such "pasts" are activated, representing an indigenous historiography concealed within religious associations. Digital formats will be used to process the data and develop a Black Atlantic History and Culture database. The project involves MA students from African Studies, African American Studies, and Latin American Studies.

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