Teaching Initiatives

Faculty routinely teach courses devoted to the history and legacy of slavery in Georgia, in the antebellum South, in the United States, and around the world. (See Courses below.) In addition, faculty regularly work with their undergraduate and graduate students on projects devoted to these topics:

* In 2013, Christopher Lawton taught a slavery in Athens course that worked to geolocate the WPA interviews done in the 1930s with Athens’ former slaves. This work was then debuted at the Georgia Virtual History Project website.

* In 2013, Christopher Lawton created a public multimedia exhibit on the history of slavery in Athens titled “Seen/Unseen,” which debuted at Athica on November 9. Coverage included articles in the Online Athens/Banner Herald, Flagpole, USA Today, Columns, UGA Today, and other venues.

* In Fall 2015, in partnership with DigiLab, Scott Nesbit's class contributed to the student project “Slavery at UGA,” focusing on the proslavery ideology taught at the school, the entangled finances of the university and slavery, slave labor on campus, the interactions between enslaved people and students, slave spaces on campus, and the individual life experiences of some of the enslaved peoples who worked on or around the university.

* In Spring 2016, Chana Kai Lee, Scott Nesbit, Akela Reason, and Stephen Berry all taught courses that focused exclusively on, or featured major assignments devoted to, the public history of local cemeteries and their relationship to the histories of slavery in Athens. The results of that work can be seen at a DigiLab exhibit devoted to local Athens cemeteries, including Oconee Hill and Brooklyn Cemeteries.

* In Fall 2016, Chana Kai Lee, Stephen Berry, and Scott Nesbit all were invited to give public presentations on these issues by the history honors society, Phi Alpha Theta, under a lecture series devoted to “Athens Illuminated.” (Lee spoke on Juliette Derricotte, African American educator and activist, who was born in Athens and is buried in Gospel Pilgrim. Nesbit spoke on “Slavery and the Origins of UGA.” Berry spoke on “What the Living Owe the Dead.”)

* In Fall 2018 students enrolled in Chana Kai Lee's AFAM-HIST 3102 "The Modern African American Experience," worked on a new digital effort, “The Lynching Project: Murder and Memory in Georgia. Working in teams, students researched over 200 lynchings that occurred in select Georgia counties between 1880 and 1940. (The infamous 1946 Moore's Ford lynching in Walton County will be documented here later by another course, as well other post-World War ll lynchings.)

* In Fall 2019 students will contribute to “The Athens Death Project” Stephen Berry's HIST 4090. The project is devoted to racial disparities in life expectancy as measured by Athens area death certificates and mortuary records.


Students interested in learning more about slavery and its legacies in a variety of temporal and geographic contexts should consider the following courses:

HIST 3050: American Indian History to 1840

Explores the impact of colonization on Native Americans to 1840. The course will focus on the creative adaptations of Indians to the great changes unleashed by the meeting of the new and old worlds.

HIST 3090: The American South

Major themes and issues in southern history from Jamestown through the l980s. Topics will include colonial settlement, frontier expansion, slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, Populism, Jim Crow, the New South, the civil rights movement, and Sunbelt development.

HIST 3101: Early African American Experience

The African background of African Americans, the institution of slavery, the development of the African American community institutions, and African American participation in and impact on the Civil War and Reconstruction.

HIST 3102: Modern African American Experience

The twentieth-century struggle for civil rights, black identity, and self-determination. The response to industrialism and urbanization. The role of black institutions and political organizations. The philosophy and tactics of accommodation, integration, and separatism.

HIST/LACS 3120: Race and Slavery in the Americas

This comparative history of New World slaveries is not yet in the catalog but will be taught in Fall 2019 and periodically thereafter.

HIST 4027: American Museums, Parks, and Monuments

This experiential course offers an examination of the history and practices of museums, parks, and public monuments in the United States. Making use of the campus and its collections students will investigate the presentation of history at UGA. Students will also create a temporary exhibition.

HIST 4071: Antebellum South

A chronological and thematic history of the South from Spanish exploration and Jamestown's settlement through the secession crisis of l860-1861, with an emphasis on the social, cultural, economic, and political aspects of southern life in the colonial and antebellum periods.

HIST 4072: U.S Civil War

The origin, conduct, and legacy of the war and the impact of the conflict upon peoples and institutions.

HIST 4073: The Reconstruction Era

The process of reunion, especially in the American South, with emphasis upon the experience of African Americans.

HIST 4090: DEATH: A Human History

DEATH is a roving, reading-intensive, discussion- and activity-based course that provides a topical tour of the history of death and dying from the Neanderthals to now with an emphasis on historical disparities in health outcomes. Students are expected to participate vividly in class projects and to be less dead at the end of term.

HIST 4100: History of Georgia

Using historical scholarship, biography, and film, the Georgia past from pre-history to the present. Themes of race, class, and modernization in the development of Georgia; special emphasis on the lives of everyday Georgians at various points in history.

HIST 4120: Civil Rights Movement

Examination of the history of the African-American civil rights movement in the United States during the middle of the twentieth century by focusing on the lives and struggles of ordinary people, black and white, who fought to overcome the legacy of racial and social inequality.

Get in touch

  • Department of History
    220 LeConte Hall, Baldwin Street
    University of Georgia
    Athens, GA 30602-1602
  • 706-542-2053
  • 706-542-2455
  • history@uga.edu

eHistory was founded at the University of Georgia in 2011 by historians Claudio Saunt and Stephen Berry

Learn More about eHistory