Difficult Campus Heritage: A VIRTUAL EVENT

February 13, 2021

“Difficult Campus Heritage,” the 22nd Annual Historic Preservation Symposium at Texas A&M University, looked at a sample of the different ways colleges and universities around the world are currently addressing the preservation and conservation of heritage and heritage assets (for example: buildings, statues, me- morial sites, art, museums, archival collections) that relate to topics such as gender, race, religion, and poli- tics. These include aspects of history, heritage, values, tradition, and identity that have emerged, especially over the last few years, as very polarizing, contentious, offensive, controversial, and often difficult to discuss. What perspectives should university administrators, planners, curators, preservationists and conservators keep in mind as they formulate their own policies and conservation strategies for campus heritage? And what do our students (future administrators, planners, curators, preservationists, and conservators) need to be aware of as they formulate their own informed re- sponses about these issues? The symposium offered an outstanding slate of nationally and internationally known scholars discussing case studies from Texas, the United States, Barbados, and South Africa.

Program Committee:

Brent R. Fortenberry
Kevin T. Glowacki
Priya Jain


February 13, 2021

9:00 a.m. | Welcome to the Symposium, Priya Jain, Texas A&M University

9:05 a.m. | Dean’s Welcome, Jorge Vanegas, Texas A&M University

9:10 a.m. | Center Welcome, Kevin Glowacki

9:15 a.m. | Keynote Address: “After the #fall: The Shadow of Cecil Rhodes at the University of Cape Town,” Nick Shepherd, Aarhus University

10:15 a.m. | One: Remembering

  • “From Codrington to Cave Hill: University Heritage in Transition,” Tara Innis, University of the West Indies Cave Hill
  • “Re-Seeing Slavery at UVA: the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers,” Louis Nelson, University of Virginia

11:15 a.m. | Two: Spaces

  • “Call My Name, Clemson: The Power of Call and Response in Documenting University History,” Rhondda Thomas, Clemson University
  • “The Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston and African American Public History,” Bernard E. Powers, College of Charleston
  • “Displaced and Disowned: African American Communities and The University of Texas at Austin,” Tara Dudley, University of Texas, Austin

1:00 p.m. | Lunch and Poster Sessions

2:00 p.m. | Three: Excavating

  • “Harvard Yard Archaeology: practice, relevance, and lived experience,” Diana Loren and Patricia Capone, Harvard University
  • “Healing and Reconciliation: A Neverending Process,” Jody Lynn Allen, The College of William and Mary in Virginia

3:00 p.m. | Four: Curating

  • “The Landscape of Slavery at Georgetown University,” Adam Rothman, Georgetown University
  • “The Archival Imperative: From Decolonization to Radical Inclusivity,” Rebecca Hankins, Texas A&M University

4:00 p.m. | Closing Remarks, Dawn Jourdan, Texas A&M University

4:45 p.m. | AptTX Meeting


Nick Shepherd

After the #fall: The Shadow of Cecil Rhodes at the University of Cape Town

Nick Shepherd, Aarhus University

On March 9th 2015, Chumane Maxwele, a student at the Univer- sity of Cape Town, threw a bucket of feces at a statue of Cecil Rhodes, prominently sited at the main pedestrian entrance to the university. A month later, following concerted protest ac- tion by the student-led social movement, #RhodesMustFall, the statue was removed. In this paper I situate the Rhodes statue and the events of #RMF into historical relation with the broader memorial and symbolic landscape of the Groote Schuur estate, the landscape of which the University of Cape Town forms a part. I argue that an imperial legacy is deeply inscribed in this landscape in architectural form, the organization of space, forms of the gaze, and embodied habitus. The University of Cape Town upper campus was conceived in terms of two archi- tectural tropes, the idea of the Temple-on-the-hill, and the idea of the site of prospect. These, in turn, derive from Rhodes Me- morial, slightly further up the slope. In this context, the Rhodes statue was the most obvious materialization of a more general- ized coloniality, which remains a part of the ambiguous legacy of the Groote Schuur estate and the University of Cape Town.

Tara Inniss

From Codrington to Cave Hill: University Heritage in Transition

Tara Innis, University of the West Indies Cave Hill

In 2018, The University of the West Indies (UWI) celebrated its 70th anni- versary. Established in 1948 upon the recommendation of the Asquith Commission to improve access to university education in the British Caribbean, the University College of the West Indies (UCWI) was originally affiliated to the University of London. Today, the University has expanded from only one campus at Mona, Jamaica to four campuses in the region, with a presence in 15 territories serving the English-speaking Carib- bean. One of five (5) university campuses in the region, Cave Hill Cam- pus in Barbados was established in 1954 and, until the Open Campus and Five Islands Campus in Antigua and Barbuda, was the youngest campus. Despite its 20th century beginnings, the Campus has ties to one of the oldest tertiary institutions in the region, Codrington College, which was established as a school for surgery and theology dating to 1710, when Christopher Codrington bequeathed his sugar estates in St. John, Barbados for the establishment of an institution of higher learning in the region. Codrington College is an Anglican seminary that grants UWI de- grees in theology. The most recent parcel of land deeded to the university from Government is a portion of the former Lazaretto lands, which date to the mid-nineteenth century.

Endowed with a rich patrimony, Cave Hill Campus has sought to position itself as a heritage destination on the island for education tourism, but it will take far more than a nod to the past to ensure the preservation and protection of Cave Hill’s heritage resources for the future. This presenta-tion revealed some of the opportunities and challenges for heritage development at Cave Hill Campus, and indeed in Barbados in general, while also outlining the need for a management plan for the site and its tangible and intangible resources. The presentation discussed some of the challenges of the campus and its affiliated properties being sited on former slave plantations in the light of some of the campus’ leadership in decolonization efforts as well as recent Black Lives Matter Protests. Given the recent growth in the campus’ physical development, it may be an opportune time for the campus to take stock of its expansion, while also balancing the resources required to service the campus’ present and future needs.

Re-Seeing Slavery at UVA: the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers

Louis Nelson, University of VirginiaThe years following the deluge of hate and violence in Charlottesville in the summer of 2017 have been a profound reckoning for the University of Virginia. While efforts at truth-telling and repair had begun years, even decades, earlier, that summer amplified the need for the institu- tion to take seriously its legacy of exclusion and harm. Those years saw the launch of now two major presidential commissions on race and re- pair at UVA, the publication of Educated in Tyranny: Slavery of Thomas Jefferson’s University, and other efforts. But the most important was the design and now opening of the new Memorial to Enslaved Laborers. This talk enlists the material and formal qualities of the memorial as a window into the history of slavery and the necessity of repair.

Rhondda Thomas

Call My Name, Clemson: The Power of Call and Response in Documenting University History

Rhondda Thomas, Clemson University                 

This presentation examines the development of the Call My Name Project that researches, documents, and shares the stories of seven generations of African Americans in Clemson University history. These stories include those of 1) enslaved African Americans, 2) sharecroppers, tenant farmers, and domestic workers, 3) convicted laborers, 4) wage workers and cooperative extension workers, 5) musicians, 6) students, faculty, and staff post-integration, and 7) 21st century activism. Thomas will discuss how the project’s reliance on the African American call and response tradition, as well as counterstory, to invite the public to assist in making these stories accessible and visible in the university’s public narrative.

Bernard Powers

The Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston and African American Public History

Bernard E. Powers, College of Charleston

The focus of this presentation is the College of Charleston’s Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston (CSSC) and the challenges and opportunities it faces in transforming the landscape of the campus, its adjacent environs and other selective parts of the city. Established in fall 2018 after the College joined the Universities Studying Slavery Consortium, CSSC is a faculty driven effort which built on the considerable interest which already existed on campus, in exploring slavery and other race related issues in the city and throughout the Lowcountry especially. Formally stated, the mission of CSSC is to foster “a deeper public understanding of slavery and its complex legacies. It supports academic research and teaching that examine the role of slavery in the history of the College and our region”. Its work is conducted by a director, an executive committee and four working groups all of which are populated by faculty members. The specific faculty committees are: Academic Research, Public History, K-12 and Social Justice; the presentation will review the scope and function of each committee. From the beginning, planners recognized the need to build relationships with other campus organizations as well as with entities and programs external to the campus. Some of the center’s greatest successes have been achieved as a result of such relationships and illustrations will be provided. Not surprisingly, some of the work of CSSC has incurred opposition and strategies for countering such criticism will also be covered.

Tara Dudley

Displaced and Disowned: African American Communities and The University of Texas at Austin

Tara Dudley, University of Texas, Austin

Within a few years of the Civil War, African American families resided in communities scattered around Central Austin, including the fringe of “College Hill,” an area set aside by city planners as the site of a proposed public university. Throughout the late nineteenth century, these freedom colonies adjacent to “College Hill” thrived. Within fifty years of the University of Texas at Austin’s 1883 opening, however, these neighborhoods ceased to exist—engulfed by the physical expansion of the campus and institutions in its service, a movement exacerbated by the 1927 Austin Plan–the city’s racist policy to segregate African American Austinites to the east side of the city. In the early 1980s, UT-Austin continued to cite the Austin Plan as a source for its plan to expand ever eastward, this time into the Blackland community where displaced African Americans had re-established themselves from the 1930s onward.

This talk explores the history and development of vibrant African American communities in Wheatville, at Horst’s Pasture, and in the Blackland neighborhood, particularly their fate relevant to the expansion of UT-Austin campus. It places these communities, and the lives of their former inhabitants, within the context of the campus’ history, so that the university can not only address the violence inherent in the deliberate erasure of African American communities at the margins of the campus, but also serve as a site of memory that reaffirms the agency of those communities and their inhabitants and addresses the ongoing effects of that erasure.

Diana Loren
Patricia Capone

Harvard Yard Archaeology: practice, relevance, and lived experience

Diana Loren and Patricia Capone, Harvard University

Visitors to the Harvard University campus can be struck by history around them, colonial brick buildings in the well-ordered landscape of paths and lawns of Harvard Yard. Less visible are the nearly 4 centuries of Harvard’s past under our feet. Archaeology in Harvard Yard has revealed objects and features dating from the earliest years of the University to modern times. This represents an intimate and sometimes surprising legacy, expanding what it was to live, work, and study at this early American institution. In addition to the finds themselves, we emphasize the context in which they were made. The chronicle of campus archaeology at Harvard mirrors contemporary movements within the field, shifting focus from salvage-driven archaeology to proactive stakeholder involvement and collaboration. Currently, the Harvard Yard Archaeology Project focuses on expanding the conception of the seventeenth century colonial universe (what stories, who participated) and engaging in reflection. The Project raises awareness of the Harvard Indian College specifically, and relates to considering diversity and inclusion today. Further, architectural features and artifacts, such as as those related to the first printing press, have further illuminated the early goals of Harvard in constructing a substantial educational institution in the fledgling colony, while artifacts related to daily life reveal experiences of students at the early College and how they existed within a Puritan institutional structure. Guided by the Peabody Museum and the Department of Anthropology, the Project involves stakeholders toward an inclusive educational setting critically reflecting on the role of early Harvard, and generating histories for today’s consideration.

Jody Allen

Healing and Reconciliation: A Neverending Process

Jody Lynn Allen, The College of William and Mary in Virginia

In 2007, William and Mary students called on the university to study its history as an enslaver, make it public, and memorialize the enslaved. In 2010, The Lemon Project: A Journey of Reconciliation began the process of uncovering and documenting the African American experience at William and Mary and the surrounding community from slavery through racial segregation. I will share our process and outcomes to date as one model for other institutions doing this work.

Adam Rothman

The Landscape of Slavery at Georgetown University

Adam Rothman, Georgetown University

Since 2015, Georgetown University has been wrestling with its difficult history of slavery. The school was founded by the slaveholding Catholic gentry of the new United States. Enslaved people lived and worked on campus and are buried beneath it. Proceeds from the mass sale of people owned by the Jesuits in 1838 paid off the school’s debts. Professor Adam Rothman, a member of Georgetown’s Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation, and the curator of the online Georgetown Slavery Archive, discusses the efforts being undertaken at the university to commemorate, teach, and learn from this history. These efforts have transformed the landscape of historical memory at the university and led to sustained conversations about the meaning of reconciliation and repair.

Rebecca Hankins

The Archival Imperative: From Decolonization to Radical Inclusivity

Rebecca Hankins, Texas A&M University

The two guiding principles of archival theory and professional work are provenance and original order. These principles are the foundations for all the activities carried out in the archives and considered sacrosanct. This presentation will show that adhering to these principles have advanced a colonial context to archival work, enshrined often violent or oppressive ownership that centered patriarchy and affluence. Provenance more so than original order forces us to only consider the donor when we document our collections ownership. Scholar Jarrett Drake notes that “At its most basic level, provenance thrives with the presence of a clear creator or ownership of records and with a hierarchical relationship between entities, both of which reflect the bureaucratic and corporate needs of the Western colonial, capitalist, and imperialist regimes in which archivists have most adhered to the principle.” 1 These principals have also added to the misidentifying and silencing of those who were much more central to records creation. The archival profession is now coming to an understanding of the harm that adhering to provenance has wrought. These issues of ownership and economic injustice are front and center where too often provenance is very much used as a tool for subverting ownership to the one who holds the purse strings. This presentation will provide examples that speak to the need to decolonize these principals and center those who are oftentimes erased from the archival record.


Nick Shepherd

Nick Shepherd is an Associate Professor of Archaeology and Heritage Studies at Aarhus University, and an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria. He has been a Visiting Professor at Brown University, Colgate University and the University of Basel, and a Mandela Fellow at Harvard University. In 2017-18 he was Artist-in-Residence at the Amsterdam University of the Arts. In 2004 he founded the programme in Public Culture and Heritage in Africa at the University of Cape Town, which he convened until 2017. His recent publications include the volumes Colonial and Decolonial Linguistics: Knowledge and Epistemes (Oxford University Press, 2020), and After Ethics: Ancestral voices and postdisciplinary worlds in archaeology (Springer, 2014), and the monographs La Mano del Arqueologo: Ensayos 2001-2015 (JAS Arqueología, 2017) and The Mirror in the Ground: Archaeology, photography and the making of a disciplinary archive (Centre for Curating the Archive, 2015). Together with Christian Ernsten and Dirk-Jan Visser, he is convenor of The Walking Seminar, an experiment in walking methodologies involving scholars, artists, curators and activists, that moves between contested locations in the global north and south.

Jody Lynn Allen

Jody Lynn Allen is a native of Hampton, VA, and Assistant Professor of History at William & Mary. Her research interests cover the broad span of the African American experience in the U.S. Allen is also the director of The Lemon Project: A Journey of Reconciliation, which is addressing the history of African Americans at the College and in Greater Williamsburg.

Patricia Capone

Patricia Capone is a Museum Curator in North American Archaeology at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, with interests in museum anthropology, North American historical archaeology, repatriation, and collaborative methodologies. Her recent activities include co-director of the Harvard Yard Archaeology Project with Diana Loren, and teams implementing partnerships with Indigenous museums.

Tara Dudley

Dr. Tara Dudley is a historic preservation consultant and a Lecturer in The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, where she teaches in the Architectural History, Interior Design, and Historic Preservation programs. Her research focuses on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American architecture and design, specifically the undertold and untold contributions of African Americans. Her research methodology includes creative utilization of archival resources and conducting oral histories. Notably, she has applied this approach to her study of the architectural activities of New Orleans’ gens de couleur libres (free people of color); their influence on the physical growth of New Orleans; and the historical, cultural, and economic implications of their contributions to New Orleans’ built environment and to nineteenth-century American architecture. Her current research explores the contributions of African Americans to Austin’s built environment from the antebellum era onward and includes re-analysis of Austin’s only recognizable slave quarters building at the Neill-Cochran House Museum and identification of African American builders and architects from the city’s founding through the Jim Crow era. Dr. Dudley obtained her doctorate in Architectural History and master’s degree in Historic Preservation from UT-Austin and holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Princeton University.

Rebecca Hankins

Rebecca Hankins is the Wendler Endowed Professor and certified archivist/librarian at Texas A&M University. She was elected as an SAA Fellow in August 2016 and in December of 2016, U. S. President Barack H. Obama appointed her to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) where she served from 2016-August 2020. Her work has appeared in The International Review of African American Art, Critical Muslim, Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction and Fantasy, American Archivist, Reference & User Services Quarterly, and co- edited a monograph with Miguel Juarez, Ph.D. (UTEP) titled Where Are All the Librarians of Color? The Experiences of People of Color in Academia. Her latest publications are “Joseph Cinque: Reframing and Reclaiming the Muslim Presence in the Amistad Revolt,” co-authored with Balthazar Beckett, Ph.D. in The Muslim World, a special issue titled Black Muslim Portraiture in the Modern Atlantic edited by Temple University Professor Zain Abdullah, Ph.D.; and “Practicing Islam in the time of COVID- 19” freely available in the eBook, Religion in Quarantine: The Future of Religion in a Post-Pandemic World edited by TAMU Communication’s Professor Heidi Campbell.

Tara A. Inniss

Tara A. Inniss is a Lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus. She currently serves as Deputy Dean — Outreach in the Faculty of Humanities and Education at The UWI, Cave Hill Campus. The areas of focus for her teaching and research include: history of medicine; history of social policy; and heritage and social development. She is a Commonwealth Scholar and holds a PhD in Caribbean History from The University of the West Indies as well as a Masters in International Social Development from the University of New South Wales. Dr. Inniss has served as a delegate for the Government of Barbados on the World Heritage Committee. She is a member of the Research Team for the Nomination Dossiers for UNESCO World Heritage Properties Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison and The Industrial Heritage of Barbados: The Story of Sugar and Rum. She currently sits on several committees for the Barbados World Heritage Committee, the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, the Barbados National Trust and the Association of Caribbean Historians (ACH).

Diana DiPaolo Loren

Diana DiPaolo Loren is Senior Curator at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University. Loren specializes in the colonial period Southeast and Northeast, with a focus on the body, health, dress and adornment. She co-directs the Archaeology of Harvard Yard Project with Patricia Capone. Loren is the author of In Contact: Bodies and Spaces in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Eastern Woodlands (2007) and The Archaeology of Clothing and Bodily Adornment in Colonial America (2010).

Bernard E. Powers Jr.

Bernard E. Powers Jr. earned the Ph. D in American history at Northwestern University. He is professor emeritus of history at the College of Charleston and the College’s founding director of the Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston. Powers also serves as the interim C.E.O. of Charleston’s International African American Museum scheduled to open in 2022. His Black Charlestonians: A Social History 1822- 1885, was designated an “Outstanding Academic Book” by Choice Magazine. Powers is co-author of We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel, which contextualizes the city’s racially motivated murders of 2015. Most recently he has edited 101 African Americans Who Shaped South Carolina (2020). Powers has appeared in African American oriented documentary films, including most recently the PBS production, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross and Emanuel: The Untold Story of the Victims and Survivors of the Charleston Church Shooting. He was the founding president of the Charleston Branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. In 2019 that organization recognized his commitment to “research, writing, and activism in the field of African American life and history” with the Carter Godwin Woodson Scholars Medallion.

Adam Rothman

Adam Rothman is a Professor in the History Department at Georgetown University, where he teaches 19th century U.S history, the history of slavery, and Atlantic history. He was a member of Georgetown University’s Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation, and is the lead curator of the online Georgetown Slavery Archive. Rothman is the author of Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South (Harvard University Press 2005) and Beyond Freedom’s Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery (Harvard 2015), which won awards from the American Civil War Museum, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and American Library Association Government Documents Roundtable. He has written for The Atlantic, Daily Beast, Al Jazeera America, and the New York Times’ Disunion blog. He was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress in 2018, where he created the African-American Passages: Black Lives in the 19th Century podcast for the Library of Congress.

Rhondda Robinson Thomas

Rhondda Robinson Thomas is the Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature at Clemson University where she teaches and researches early African American literature and American literature in the Department of English. Thomas has published Call My Name, Clemson: Documenting the Black Experience in an American University Community and Claiming Exodus: A Cultural History of Afro-Atlantic Identity, 1770-1903, and co-edited The South Carolina Roots of African American Thought. She contributed the “Locating Slave Narratives” chapter to the Oxford Handbook of the African American Slave Narrative and is the acquisitions co-editor for the African American Literature series at the Clemson University Press. She is currently editing volume 1 of the African American Literature in Transition series forthcoming from Cambridge University Press and serving as the Community Engagement Coordinator for Clemson’s African American Burial Site project on campus. Dr. Thomas is also the faculty director of the Call My Name: African Americans in Clemson University History research project for which she was selected as a 2018-19 Whiting Foundation Public Engagement Fellow. She has received substantial additional funding for Call My Name, including grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, SC Humanities, and Clemson’s Office of the Provost as well as a gift from Dr. James and Edith Bostic Jr. through the Clemson University Foundation.

Student Posters

CHC Symposium Code of Conduct

The CHC has a zero-tolerance for any form of discrimination or harassment by participants, and we reserve the right to excuse participants from the virtual event should unacceptable behavior take place.

Examples of unacceptable behavior include but are not limited to:

  • Harassment of any form, such as inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language; unwelcome jokes or comments; unwanted attention; offensive images; photography without permission; and threatening any attendee, speaker, volunteer, CHC faculty and staff member, or participant.
  • Discrimination of any form, such as inappropriate actions or statements related to race, physical appearance, age, gender, sexual orientation, ability status, political affiliation, religion, nationality, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, educational background, and/or any other characteristic protected by law.
  • Verbal or written abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, CHC faculty and staff member, or other participant.
  • Disruption of presentations at sessions.

This code is adapted from the Society of Architectural Historians and Vernacular Architecture Forum Codes of Conference Conduct.

If you would like to support the overall mission of the CHC or help us cover costs for this year’s free symposium, please consider making a donation to our general operating fund through the Texas A&M Foundation.