May 9, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Dr. Renee Soulodre-LaFrance presented her experiences with digitizing documents dealing with slave societies in Colombia at a workshop entitled “Digital Humanities and the history of slavery.” This workshop took place Saturday, May 5, 2018 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

She joined 19 other faculty researchers from various universities across the United States as well as two from Canada. This event will enhance research, collaboration and graduate training. The participants will share their practical experiences on a variety of slave societies’ digital projects that have been funded by the British Library Endangered Archives Program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Mellon Foundation.

“This workshop included scholars in History and the Digital Humanities presenting their cutting-edge research on the preservation and dissemination of at-risk historical documentation and information. I was inspired by the new technologies being developed to advance this work. I described my experiences of how historian often find the most unusual documents in the strangest places. These important and surprising finds are now being made available to scholars all over the world through the collaborative networks created in centers like the Slave Societies Digital Humanities at Vanderbilt," said Dr. Soulodre-LaFrance.

All of these projects involved the discovery and digital preservation of ‘at-risk’ archives of the experiences of enslaved people in Latin America. Typically, these documents are located in remote areas and often are in danger of disappearing because of the elements. The projects also focus on the training of local students or archivists in the digitization and preservation of documents and provide copies of the documents to the British Library and the Vanderbilt Library as back-up copies that are accessible on line. Other participants will present their work funded by the Mellon Foundation on the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, Slave Narratives and Biographies.

At King’s, Dr. Soulodre-LaFrance  teaches a senior seminar on 20th-century revolutions and violence in Latin America as well as several courses that focus on colonial society, slavery in Africa and Latin America, and religion and popular culture in Latin America.