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“Communal Biography: Reflections on Centering Stories of the Enslaved”

May 4, 2024, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm EDT

Join the Omohundro Institute as we welcome OI author and former Council member Sara E. Johnson for the 10th annual Council Lecture. Professor Johnson (University of California, San Diego) will deliver “Communal Biography: Reflections on Centering Stories of the Enslaved.”

Communal biography offers new ways to think about the past inside and outside of the archive.  Moving between a discussion of the archival and visual methods developed in Johnson’s Encyclopédie noire: The Making of Moreau de Saint-Méry’s Intellectual World (2023) and the author’s own family history in Mississippi and the larger US South, this talk explores the roots and routes of knowledge production produced by lesser-known figures about slavery in the Americas.

Sara E. Johnson is Professor of Literature of the Americas and Co-Director of the Black Studies Project at the University of California, San Diego. She is also the author of The Fear of French Negroes: Transcolonial Collaboration in the Revolutionary Americas (University of California Press, 2012), and co-editor of Una ventana a Cuba y los Estudios cubanos (Ediciones Callejon, 2010), and Kaiso! Writings by and about Katherine Dunham (University of Wisconsin Press, 2006).  She served on the OI Council from 2019-2023.




Parking should be available in front of Blow Hall, along Richmond Road, and in the parking lot near Zable Stadium. W&M parking is open to all on the weekends (except spaces otherwise marked). You can read more about parking on campus here.

Room 201 is accessible via the front entrance of Blow Hall (to the right when you enter the main foyer) but requires climbing stairs. The room is also accessible via ramp and elevator via the exit on the east side of the building (to the left when facing the front). Take the elevator up to the 2nd floor and then turn left. The door at the end of the hallway opens directly into the main foyer.