Grant Parker: "Curating Enslaved Pasts of the Cape of Good Hope"

Thu April 7th 2022, 9:00 - 10:00am
Online via Zoom
Grant Parker: "Curating Enslaved Pasts of the Cape of Good Hope"

Speaker: Prof. Grant Parker (Stanford)
Chair: Prof. Laura Stokes (Stanford)
UCL Respondent: Meishu Ai
Stanford Respondent: Dr. Denise Lim

About this talk: Our project seeks new ways of representing enslavement at the Cape of Good Hope (roughly 1652-1838). The immediate goal is the online publication of selected legal trial documents from Dutch colonial archives, but the larger aim is to create a portal to facilitate engagement with a neglected aspect of South African and slave histories. Several questions arise and deserve wide-ranging discussion, including the relative advantages of big data as opposed to more traditional approaches; the ethics of engaging with pasts that some would prefer to forget. How to negotiate between different potential audiences, whether school learners, descendants, scholars or tourists? What concept of narrative is most productive in making sense of these court trials, and what are the implications for their digitization?

About the speaker: Grant Parker joined Stanford from Duke University in 2006. He teaches mostly Latin, as well as topics linked to the exotic and geographic elements of Roman imperial culture. His book, The Making of Roman India, was published in 2008, while new projects have addressed ancient travel literature as well as Rome's Egyptian obelisks. His interest in classical reception is reflected in his 2001 book, The Agony of Asar (a critical edition of a former slave's defense of slavery, written in Latin [Leiden 1742]).