Sherman Emerging Scholar Lecture Series

Twentieth Annual Sherman Emerging Scholar Lecture


Dr. Anne Kerth

The Afterlife of Secrets: A Slave Conspiracy in Antebellum Charleston

In this year's Sherman Emerging Scholar Lecture, Dr. Anne Kerth will explore the Denmark Vesey Conspiracy in Charleston, South Carolina. In the summer of 1822, Charleston city officials claimed to have uncovered a planned revolt among enslaved and free Black Charlestonians, and arrests and executions soon followed. This talk will examine how the nature of urban slavery and Black labor in Charleston fostered an environment conducive to slave conspiracy. It will also explore the aftermath of the affair, focusing on the ways in which white Charlestonians maneuvered to mobilize the conspiracy to their own benefit. In doing so, the talk will offer a window into the complex racial and class politics of the antebellum American South, as well as into the productive and destructive power of secrecy.

Anne Kerth is an Assistant Professor in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  She holds a Ph.D. in History from Princeton University and a B.A. in History from Williams College.  Her research interests include the history of slavery and emancipation, labor history, the history of gender and sexuality, and carceral history.  Her current book project examines the lives and labors of enslaved and free African-American artisans in nineteenth-century South Carolina.  She teaches courses on early African American and African diasporic history; slavery and emancipation; and race, labor, and gender. 

Sherman Emerging Scholar Lecture
Wednesday, October 27, 2021 7:30PM
The lecture is free and open to the public
Click here to watch the video of the Twentieth Annual Sherman Emerging Scholar Lecture
Roundtable to follow the Sherman Emerging Scholar Lecture
Sherman-Roundtable-flyer-image.jpgThursday, October 28, 2021 5:00PM
The day after the Department of History's annual Sherman Emerging Scholar Lecture, UNCW will present a roundtable discussion featuring renowned scholars and legal professionals who will provide a commentary on the themes raised in Dr. Anne Kerth's lecture and raise additional points from their own unique perspectives.  Free and open to the public.  All UNCW students and faculty are welcome to attend. 
Sherman Emerging Scholar Panelists: Sherman Emerging Scholar Dr. Anne Kerth (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), Dr. Karen Cook-Bell (Bowie State University), Dr. Hilary Green (University of Alabama), Dr. Seth Rockman (Brown University)
Moderator: Dr. Tara White (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

Click here to watch the video of the Sherman Emerging Scholar Roundtable