The students in the sophomore seminar Race and Remembering (Fall 2014) engaged with conversations in Ethnic Studies, American Studies, History, and the Public Humanities. Students grappled with the relationship between historical narratives, memory, and social relations of power. Together the class studied ongoing local and transnational struggles to reckon with the violent histories of slavery, empire, colonialism, nationalism, and democracy in the United States and abroad.
This digital exhibit is not a comprehensive look at the history of race at Brown, but rather an invitation for future research and dialogues about Brown’s past and the future of the university. Amidst celebrations of the 250th anniversary of Brown University, and inspired by key contributions by the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, students chose to create a collaborative reflection on the history of race at Brown. The group considered the stakes of remembering, forgetting, memorializing, and reckoning with histories of race on campus. They asked, how the university interacts with Providence communities, how student protests shape Brown, and how controversial racial legacies on campus are remembered or forgotten. They consulted with university archivists and mined school collections to locate key documents that will be of value to educators, researchers, students, and alumni. They took on the difficult task of making key editorial choices for narrating and presenting histories for a broader audience. The Brown University community should celebrate these student efforts. Please join these students in continuing this important dialogue.
Monica Muñoz Martinez
Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies
Department of American Studies