Monumental Opportunities

Or, How to Make Your Campus a Laboratory for Investigating 

the Legacies of Slavery in American Higher Education

A Teach-in Event Introducing the Locating Slavery's Legacies Database

April 6-7, 2023

Atlanta History Center

Atlanta, Georgia

The Locating Slavery’s Legacies Database maps memorials related to the Lost Cause on American college and university campuses. 

This digital humanities project and online repository enables college and university faculty, archivists, and students to investigate and share information about memorials--built to support or refute the Confederacy and Lost Cause--on their respective campuses. 

After nearly a year of testing by teams at nine institutions, the database is ready to open its resources to new partners in this project.

We seek to convene current pilot partners together with prospective ones to share experiences and insights and chart the next phase of the database project.

Whether you are a student, library professional, or faculty member, join us for a “teach in” this April 6 and 7 at Atlanta History Center, where you can learn about the database project, what it does, what it can mean for your campus, and how you can contribute.

The "teach in" kicks off on Thursday night, April 6, with a conversation about historical memory between prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey and Yale historian David Blight. Friday morning, April 7th, all participants will gather again at Atlanta History Center to share knowledge abou the LSLdb Project and develop related teaching tools.

A night of lodging at Fairfield Inn & Suites Buckhead in Atlanta and funds to support travel to the “teach in” are available to early registrants. Contact Kathy Solomon at for more information.

The LSLdb is an initiative of the Roberson Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, which is sponsoring this event in partnership with Atlanta History Center.

Registration for this Event has Reached Capacity. But we are planning a Zoom session later this spring. Here's a link to let us know of your interest:

Monumental Opportunities (by Zoom) 

 Public Lecture and Featured Discussion

Remembering, Reckoning, Healing: 

A conversation about the power of memory and the legacies of American slavery, featuring poet and writer Natasha Trethewey and historian David W. Blight 

Please join us at Atlanta History Center, on Thursday, April 6, at 7:30 PM EDT, for a rare opportunity to hear the reflections of two of today’s most important voices confronting, in their own ways, the vexed subject of Southerners’ memories and the shadows of American slavery in the present. 

Natasha Trethewey, Board of Trustees Professor of English in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014), while also serving as the Poet Laureate of the State of Mississippi (2012-2016). She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir (2020); a book of nonfiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2010); and five collections of poetry, including Monument: Poems New & Selected (2018), which was long-listed for the 2018 National Book Award, and Native Guard (2006), for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. 

David Blight is Sterling Professor of History at Yale University and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. He is the author of many books on Southern history, memory and the Civil War, and resistance to slavery, including his biography of Frederick Douglass, entitled, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, which was honored with nine book awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Francis Parkman Prize, the Bancroft Prize, and the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize. 

Teach-In: Locating Slavery's Legacies Database Project (LSLdb)

Teach-In Facilitator

Katie Burnett is an associate professor of English and chair of the department of Arts & Languages at Fisk University in Nashville, TN. She is the author of Cavaliers and Economists: Global Capitalism and the Development of Southern Literature, 1820-1860 (LSU Press, 2019) and the co-editor of The Tacky South (LSU Press, 2022) and the Routledge Companion to Literature of the U.S. South (Routledge Press, 2022). Her work has appeared in the Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American Civil War and Reconstruction (Cambridge, 2022), the Cambridge History of the Literature of the U.S. South (Cambridge, 2021), the essay collection Southern Comforts, PMLA, College Literature, and the Southern Literary Journal. 

Travel Information

You will want to download both the MARTA and The Buc apps to your phone, if you are flying into Atlanta. 

From the airport, participants can take MARTA's Red line to Buckhead Station (best for going directly to Atlanta History Center) or the Gold line to the Lenox station (equidistant to the Fairfield Inn), then get a shuttle ride to the Fairfield by using The Buc app. 

The Buc shuttles run from 7-9:30 am, 11:30am - 1:30 pm, and 3:30 - 8:00 pm on Thursday and Friday. Uber is the best option if The Buc is not available.

Schedule Overview

For registered participants only

Thursday, April 6th

3:00-6:00 pm: Check-In

6:15 pm: Welcome and Social Hour 

7:30 pm: Featured Lecture and Discussion between Natasha Trethewey and David Blight

Friday, April 7th 

9 am-12 pm: Teach-In workshop facilitated by Katharine Burnett

12-1:30 pm: Lunch & Concluding Discussion

All times are EDT

Have Questions? Contact Kathy Solomon (Program Manager, Legacies of American Slavery Initiative) 

The Teach-in and Public Lecture are sponsored by the Roberson Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation at the University of the South, and in its role as one of seven Regional Collaboration Partners in the Legacies of American Slavery Network, a multiyear program under the direction of the Council of Independent Colleges and the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University’s Macmillan Center. The event is made possible through the generous support of the Mellon Foundation. Additional support comes from the Center for Southern Studies at the University of the South. 

We are especially grateful to the staff of Atlanta History Center for their support of this endeavor.