Slavery and Public History at the Big House: Remembering and Forgetting at American Plantation Museums and British Country Houses

Jessica Moody, Stephen Small

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Abstract

This article considers the public history of slavery at plantation museums in the US South and at country houses in Britain. Drawing on original research, the authors critique recent and current efforts to bring connections between these ‘Big Houses’ and the history of slavery to the fore through different methods of interpretation. These elite residences are argued to have largely obscured such connections historically through distancing, distortion, and denial. However, some notable efforts have been made in recent years to diversify public history narratives and more fully represent histories of enslavement. Comparing these American and British house museums, this article contextualizes public history work at these sites and proposes possible lessons from this research, presenting some points to be taken forward which emerge from this transatlantic comparison.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-68
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Global Slavery
Volume4
Issue number1
Early online date25 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Black Humanities

Keywords

  • public history
  • memory
  • heritage
  • tourism
  • national trust
  • slavery
  • country houses
  • plantation museums
  • slave cabins

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