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UMD Graduate School Research Collaboration Results in New Book

April 27, 2017

image of cover of Atlantic Crossings bookA Graduate School-sponsored education and research collaboration about noted 19th century writer, orator, and abolitionist Frederick Douglass between the University of Maryland and University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland has resulted in the publication of a new book. The book, Atlantic Crossings in the Wake of Frederick Douglass: Archaeology, Literature, and Spatial Culture, is now available from Brill.

The book is a collection of essays from anthropology doctoral students at UMD and literature doctoral students at UCC that arose as the culmination of a collaboration between the two groups of students to understand Frederick Douglass through issues of slavery and freedom. The two universities held concurrent seminars in January 2014, with the two groups of students often meeting together over Skype. The UMD students visited Ireland in September 2014 for a planning conference, and the UCC students came to Maryland in October 2014 for a daylong symposium in which the students presented the papers that became the basis for this book.

In addition to being a leading voice in support of emancipation in the United States, Douglass was an outspoken opponent of many other forms of Western oppression. He was a staunch advocate for women’s suffrage, and, as a result of an extended stay in Ireland in the 1840s, saw parallels between the plight of the Irish and that of African Americans, writing about Irish poverty, the Famine, and in favor of Irish Home Rule.

The University of Maryland students are all historical archaeologists and their essays discuss landscapes of slavery and freedom in Maryland and Virginia, using research obtained from archaeological sites on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Annapolis, and northern Virginia. The University College Cork students contributed essays on Douglass’s visit to Ireland and other transatlantic cultural cross-connections.

Leading the collaboration and serving as editors of the book are Mark Leone, professor in the Department of Anthropology and former associate dean in the Graduate School, and Lee Jenkins, senior lecturer in the School of English at University College Cork. UMD graduates Elizabeth Pruitt, Adam Fracchia, Mary Furlong Minkoff, and Kathryn Deeley; and current students Stefan Woehlke and Tracy Harwood Jenkins all contributed essays to the volume.

The book is available for purchase online.  See the gallery below for a series of photos taken during the book launch celebration, held during Maryland Day on April 29.

Contact Information

The Graduate School
University of Maryland

2123 Lee Building
7809 Regents Drive
College Park, MD 20742