This talk will highlight the tools and methods used in a digital humanities project called the Louisiana Slave Conspiracies Project.
The Louisiana Slave Conspiracies Project (LSC) aims to make source materials from two slave conspiracies in 1791 and 1795 accessible to interested researchers. A collaborative multidisciplinary team, led by Professor Bryan Wagner in the UC Berkeley English Department, is developing an interactive digital archive of these materials. The focus will be the testimonies taken from slaves and their allies in these conspiracies. They are transcribing, translating, tagging, and collating these testimonies, along with other archival documents related to the conspiracies, for the first time. They want to ground the project in the aspirations and actions of the enslaved, as they are described in their own words.
Bryan Wagner is Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on African American expression in the context of slavery and its aftermath, and he has secondary interests in legal history and vernacular culture. His books include Disturbing the Peace: Black Culture and the Police Power after Slavery (Harvard University Press, 2009), The Tar Baby: A Global History (Princeton University Press, 2017), The Wild Tchoupitoulas (33 1/3 Series, Bloomsbury, 2019), and The Life and Legend of Bras-Coupé: The Fugitive Slave Who Fought the Law, Ruled the Swamp, Danced at Congo Square, Invented Jazz, and Died for Love (Louisiana State University Press, 2019). He has also co-edited a collection of critical essays, Looking for Law in All the Wrong Places (Fordham University Press, 2019). Current research includes a collaborative digital archive, Louisiana Slave Conspiracies (lsc.berkeley.edu).