public conversation: Slavery, Dissent, Reconciliation: Harvard Histories


Monday, April 6, 2015, 3:25pm


Sanders Theatre

knepPresented By Learning From Performers

Join artist Brian Knep, Sven Beckert (Harvard University), Kellie Carter Jackson (Hunter College) and Salamishah Tillet (University of Pennsylvania) and moderator Timothy Patrick McCarthy (Harvard University) for a public conversation about Harvard University's relationship to the many legacies and memories of the Civil War. Sponsored by the Office for the Arts at Harvard, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School, and Hutchins Center for African and African American Research in conjunction with Brian Knep's site-specific installation Deep Wounds, in the Memorial Hall Transept, April 4-May 7, presented by the OFA Public Art program. Deep Wounds and the discussion are part of the Harvard Civil War Project Harvard Civil War, a cross-departmental initiative convened by the Office for the Arts to consider the complex, contested meanings and legacies of the war, a cross-departmental initiative convened by the Office for the Arts to consider the complex, contested meanings and legacies of the war.


BRIAN KNEP is a Boston-based media artist whose works range from large-scale interactive installations to microscopic sculptures for nematodes. His work has been shown at institutions across the nation including Denver Art Museum, Milwaukee Art Museum, RISD Museum, and Aldrich Center for Contemporary Art and is represented by Ron Feldman Gallery in NYC. Among the honors he has received are grants and awards from Creative Capital, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the LEF Foundation.

SVEN BECKERT researches and teaches the history of the U.S. in the 19th century, with a particular emphasis on the history of capitalism, including its economic, social, political and transnational dimensions. He just completed Empire of Cotton: A Global History, the first global history of the 19th century's most important commodity. His other publications have focused on the 19th-century bourgeoisie, on labor, on democracy, on global history and on the connections between slavery and capitalism. Currently he is at work on a history of capitalism. Together with a group of students he has also worked on the historical connections between Harvard and slavery and published Harvard and Slavery: Seeking a Forgotten History.

KELLIE CARTER JACKSON is a 19th-century historian in the Department of History at Hunter College, CUNY. Carter Jackson's research focuses on violence as a political discourse, slavery and emancipation in the Atlantic World, historical film, and black women's history. Her manuscript, Force & Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence, examines the political and social tensions preceding the American Civil War and the conditions that led some black abolitionists to believe that slavery might only be abolished by violent force. Before coming to Hunter College, she was a Harvard College Fellow in the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University.

SALAMISHAH TILLET is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. She has a secondary appointment in the Department of Africana Studies and is a Core Teaching and Faculty member of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. She received her Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization in 2007 and A.M. in English from Harvard University and her M.A.T. from Brown University. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania where she received her B.A. in English and Afro-American Studies. Her book Sites of Slavery: Citizenship and Racial Democracy in the Post-Civil Rights Imagination (Duke University Press, 2012) examines why and how contemporary African American artists, writers, and intellectuals remember antebellum slavery within post-Civil Rights America.

TIMOTHY PATRICK McCARTHY is Lecturer on History and Literature, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, and Director of the Sexuality, Gender, and Human Rights Program at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. An award-winning scholar, teacher, and public servant, McCarthy received his A.B. with honors from Harvard College, and his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University. A historian of politics and social movements, he has published four books, The Radical Reader: A Documentary History of the American Radical Tradition (New Press, 2003), Prophets of Protest: Reconsidering the History of American Abolitionism (New Press, 2006), Protest Nation: Words That Inspired a Century of American Radicalism (New Press, 2010), and The Indispensable Zinn: The Essential Writings of the People's Historian (New Press, 2012).