A two-week institute for twenty-five college and university teachers to explore African-American life and culture in Savannah and Georgia's coastal islands.
Focusing on the themes of race and slavery, this institute explores the African-American experience in the Georgia Lowcountry from the late eighteenth century through the early twentieth century. The project considers "the impact of geography, environment, time, and place on the development of community values and culture" by looking at two different experiences: the urban environment in Savannah and the rural cultures on the plantation islands of Sapelo (Geechee) and Ossabaw (Gullah). Among specific topics investigated are slavery and the slave trade in the Atlantic world; the growth of Georgia's economy and society in the eighteenth century; four generations of life on a Georgia plantation; the history and culture of Sapelo and Ossabaw islands; and slavery, freedom, and gender in Savannah. The program includes lecture/discussion sessions, site visits in Savannah and on the islands, and independent work on research and curricular projects. Institute faculty include project director Stan Deaton and Todd Groce, both historians employed by the Georgia Historical Society (GHS), Phillip Morgan (history, Johns Hopkins University), Paul Pressly (Ossabaw Island Education Alliance), Erskine Clark (American religious history, Columbia Theological Seminary, Georgia), Cornelia Walker Bailey (independent scholar, Sapelo Island), Leslie Harris (history, Emory Univeristy), and Daina Berry (history, University of Texas). Particiants study writings by institute faculty: Slave Counterpoint (Morgan), Georgia and the British Atlantic (Pressly), Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic (Clarke), Slavery and Freedom in Savannah (Harris and Berry, eds.), and God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man: A Saltwater Geechee Talks About Life on Sapelo Island (Walker). Research facilities at the GHS are available to the participants.
Faculty: Philip Morgan, Alex Byrd, Paul Pressly, Erskine Clarke, Leslie Harris, Daina Berry, Todd Groce