Adam Rothman, Elsa Barraza Mendoza & Lauret Savoy for FACING GEORGETOWN'S HISTORY

We are thrilled to welcome Adam Rothman, Elsa Barraza Mendoza, and Lauret Savoy for Facing Georgetown's History: A Reader on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation! This event will be held digitally via Crowdcast. Click here to register for the event with a donation of any amount of your choice or you can order the book below to be added to the event's registration list. Donations will go to BLM DC. There will also be an option to snag the book during the event.


A microcosm of the history of American slavery in a collection of the most important primary and secondary readings on slavery at Georgetown University and among the Maryland Jesuits

Georgetown University's early history, closely tied to that of the Society of Jesus in Maryland, is a microcosm of the history of American slavery: the entrenchment of chattel slavery in the tobacco economy of the Chesapeake in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the contradictions of liberty and slavery at the founding of the United States; the rise of the domestic slave trade to the cotton and sugar kingdoms of the Deep South in the nineteenth century; the political conflict over slavery and its overthrow amid civil war; and slavery's persistent legacies of racism and inequality. It is also emblematic of the complex entanglement of American higher education and religious institutions with slavery.

Important primary sources drawn from the university's and the Maryland Jesuits' archives document Georgetown's tangled history with slavery, down to the sizes of shoes distributed to enslaved people on the Jesuit plantations that subsidized the school. The volume also includes scholarship on Jesuit slaveholding in Maryland and at Georgetown, news coverage of the university's relationship with slavery, and reflections from descendants of the people owned and sold by the Maryland Jesuits.

These essays, articles, and documents introduce readers to the history of Georgetown's involvement in slavery and recent efforts to confront this troubling past. Current efforts at recovery, repair, and reconciliation are part of a broader contemporary moment of reckoning with American history and its legacies. This reader traces Georgetown's "Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation Initiative" and the role of universities, which are uniquely situated to conduct that reckoning in a constructive way through research, teaching, and modeling thoughtful, informed discussion.


Adam Rothman is a professor in Georgetown University's Department of History. He is author of Beyond Freedom’s Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery and the principal curator of the Georgetown Slavery Archive. 

Elsa Barraza Mendoza is a PhD candidate in history at Georgetown University and the assistant curator of the Georgetown Slavery Archive. She is currently writing her dissertation on the history of slavery on Georgetown's campus. 

Lauret Savoy is the David B. Truman Professor of environmental studies at Mount Holyoke College, where she explores the marks of history on the land. The author of Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape, she also descends from people enslaved by Jesuits.

Please note Loyalty has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation of any kind during this virtual event. 

Event date: 
Monday, June 7, 2021 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
Facing Georgetown's History: A Reader on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation Cover Image
By Adam Rothman (Editor), Elsa Barraza Mendoza (Editor), Lauret Savoy (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781647120962
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Georgetown University Press - June 16th, 2021

Beyond Freedom's Reach Cover Image
By Rothman
Available to order- email
ISBN: 9780674368125
Availability: Special Order
Published: Harvard - January 7th, 2021

Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape Cover Image
Available to order- email
ISBN: 9781619028258
Availability: Special Order
Published: Counterpoint LLC - September 13th, 2016