Exploring Race & History Through Southern Historic Places

Duke Graduate Academy Short Courses in Summer 2023

These free short course is open to all Duke graduate and professional students as well as postdocs, offered during Summer Sessions I and II. Enrollment and all course changes must be completed by the Drop/Add deadline for the relevant Summer Session (May 19 for Term I; July 6 for Term II). Take a look at all course descriptions.

Register Today


Exploring Race & History Through Southern Historic Places

This course invites students to grapple with major themes and events related to race and U.S. history through a virtual exploration of museums, state and national parks, and historical sites across North Carolina and the American South. Over two weeks, participants will “visit” sites that are presenting histories of American slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, segregation, lynching, Black education and entrepreneurship, and Black political and civil rights activism in compelling and challenging new ways. The class will offer a focused opportunity to learn about Black experiences in the United States and legacies of slavery. It will also introduce challenges that historical sites face in uncovering and confronting these complicated histories. Students will consider how encounters with place-based histories can expand understanding of our present, build empathy with multiple perspectives and give us tools to confront the dilemmas of our own time and work toward social justice. As a foundational text, students will read Clint Smith’s “How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America” (2021). Since this course is built around engagement with sites and museums serving the visiting public, there is no expectation of any history background or prior knowledge. Imagine yourself a traveler; all you need bring is curiosity and an open mind.

Instructor: Anne Mitchell Whisnant, director, Graduate Liberal Studies, associate professor of the practice, Social Science Research Institute

Summer Session II GS990 Section 20; offered July 17 – 28 (two-week course), MTWTH 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. EDT

Scroll to Top