Afro-Americana Imprints in the Classroom: A Special Issue of The Readex Report (April 2014)
In this issue: A professor challenges her graduate students to craft historical narratives fueled by discoveries within Afro-Americana Imprints; their inspired articles reveal the potent research potential of a unique resource.Dirty Searching and Roundabout Paths: Using Afro-Americana Imprints, 1535-1922, in a Master’s Level Seminar
By Susanna Ashton, Professor, American Literature, Clemson University
Would you consider sealing your next envelope with a sticker that read: “Be not partakers in other men’s sins.” More pointedly if you received such a missive, by ripping the seal would you be endorsing or decrying the maxim? I’m not sure, myself. But I was glad to learn about and see the page of gummed Abolitionist labels that my student placed within the discourse of indulgence and sin during the nineteenth century.
In fall 2013 my graduate students explored the online collection Afro-Americana Imprints, 1535-1922: From the Library Company of Philadelphia. They were instructed to construct a historically informed narrative from what they found—a narrative that could demonstrate what possibilities the collection might offer future users: students, scholars, and archival tourists alike. [continue reading]
Three student assignments using Afro-Americana Imprints:
- Dismantling the Minstrel: A Pedagogical Approach
- “Be Not Partaker in the Sin”: The Language of Abstinence in 19th-Century Abolition and Temperance Texts
- Confessing to Nothing: The Agency of Confession in Nat Turner and John E. Cook
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