Founding Director

Adam Rothman

Adam Rothman is Professor in the History Department at Georgetown University and curator of the Georgetown Slavery Archive. He is the author of Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South and Beyond Freedom’s Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery, which won the American Civil War Museum’s book prize and several other awards. He is co-editor with Dr. Elsa Barraza Mendoza of Facing Georgetown’s History: A Reader in Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation, published by Georgetown University Press in 2021. He teaches courses in slavery, U.S. History, and archival studies. He was a member of Georgetown’s Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation.

Affiliated Faculty

Jonathan Brown

Jonathan Brown is the Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the Director of Research at the Yaqeen Institute. He received his BA in History from Georgetown University in 2000 and his doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2006. Dr. Brown has studied and conducted research in Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, South Africa, India, Indonesia and Iran. His numerous book publications have won several awards, including being selected for the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Bridging Cultures Muslim Journeys Bookshelf. He has published articles in the fields of Hadith, Islamic law, Salafism, Sufism, Arabic lexical theory and Pre-Islamic poetry, and is the editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Law. He is the author of Slavery & Islam (Oneworld 2019). Dr. Brown’s current research interests include Islamic legal reform and a translation of Sahih al-Bukhari.

Ananya Chakravarti

Dr. Anaya Chakravarti’s work focuses on the intersection of global and local historical methods. Her interests lie in early modern South Asia, the Portuguese empire, colonial Brazil, history of religion and the history of emotions. She is also interested in building bridges between the archive, the classroom and public space. Her first book, The Empire of Apostles: Religion, Accommodatio and the Imagination of Empire in Early Modern Brazil and India received an honorable mention for the Association for Asian Studies’ Bernard S. Cohn Book Prize. She is currently writing a second book about the longue durée history of the Konkan coast of western India. Dr. Chakravarti is also a co-author of a forthcoming work on the global history of emotions, and she is working on a textbook on modern South Asian history, forthcoming from Routledge. Her publications include “Mapping ‘Gabriel’: Space, Identity and Slavery in the Late Sixteenth-Century Indian Ocean,” Past & Present (May 2019). Her teaching interests are in South Asian history at the undergraduate level, and historical methodology and theory at the graduate level.

Soyica Diggs Colbert

Soyica Diggs Colbert is the Idol Family Professor of African American Studies and Performing Arts at Georgetown University. She is the author of several books, including Radical Vision; A Biography of Lorraine Hansberry (Yale 2022), and she is the co-editor with Robert Patterson and Aida Levy-Hussen of The Psychic Hold of Slavery: Legacies in American Expressive Culture (Rutgers 2016). Her research interests span the 19th-21st centuries, from Harriet Tubman to Beyoncé, and from poetics to performance. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support a residency at the Schomburg Center, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Stanford University, Mellon Foundation, and the Robert W. Woodruff Library at Emory University. Colbert’s writing has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Public Books, Metrograph and American Theatre. She has been interviewed on NPR and commented for The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, and the Washington Post. She is an Associate Director at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.

Bernard Cook

Dr. Bernie Cook is Associate Dean in Georgetown College and Founding Director of the Film and Media Studies Program at Georgetown University.  He is the author of Flood of Images: Media, Memory and Hurricane Katrina (University of Texas Press, 2015) and editor of Thelma & Louise Live! The Cultural Afterlife of an American Film (University of Texas Press, 2007).  A native of New Orleans, Cook wrote Flood of Images as an intervention in the ongoing process of remembering and understanding Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans, a contested process with implications for racial and ecological justice.  Since 2015, both on campus and in Louisiana, Cook has helped to connect members of the GU272+ Descendant Community with students and colleagues to develop shared projects focused on reparative justice.  He is currently in production on a documentary series entitled Since Last We Met, which shares stories of the living descendants of the 272 enslaved people sold by the Jesuits of Maryland in 1838 and explores the possibilities for reconciliation and justice from the descendants’ perspectives. I Am The Bridge (2023) is the first film in this series.  He is a member of the core faculties of the Film and Media Studies Program and the American Studies Program, and he has created and taught a range of courses at Georgetown focused on documentary media, film studies, social justice, and the American past.  He is Founding Chair of the University Core Requirement in Humanities & Culture, and he is a member of the Board of the Georgetown Humanities Initiative.  He has been active in Digital Humanities and Public Humanities at Georgetown and has participated in national-level conversations about the future of the Humanities, including presenting at the National Humanities Conference.  Cook earned a PhD in Cinema Studies from UCLA, a graduate certificate in Documentary Filmmaking from George Washington University, and a BA and an MA in English Literature from Georgetown University.

Aderson Francois

Aderson Francois, Professor of Law, is the Director of the Civil Rights Section of the Institute for Public Representation (IPR) and the Voting Rights Institute. Prior to joining the Georgetown faculty, Professor Francois directed the Civil Rights Clinic at Howard University School of Law, where he also taught Constitutional Law, Federal Civil Rights, and Supreme Court Jurisprudence. His scholarly interests include voting rights, education law, and the history of slavery and Reconstruction. His practice experience encompasses federal trial and appellate litigation concerning equal protection in education, employment discrimination, voting rights, marriage equality, and the right to a fair criminal trial. Professor Francois received his J.D. from New York University School and clerked for the late Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In 2008, the Transition Team of President Barack Obama appointed Professor Francois Lead Agency Reviewer for the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has provided pro bono death penalty representation to inmates before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, served as a Special Assistant in with the United States Commission on Civil Rights in Washington, D.C., and practiced commercial litigation in the New York Offices of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. He has testified before Congress on civil rights issues and drafted numerous briefs to the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of California, the Supreme Court of Iowa, and Maryland’s highest court. Before joining Howard’s faculty, Professor François was the Assistant Director of the Lawyering Program at New York University School of Law.

Kathryn de Luna

Kathryn de Luna is an Associate Professor of History in Georgetown’s Department of History. She is an historian of Africa who works in two contexts: African pasts that predate European colonialism and the convergent context of African, Native American, and European pasts in the early modern Atlantic world. Her work has been funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the Fulbright-Hays and Fulbright IIE Programs. In her current research, she has followed Africanists’ well-worn path into the Atlantic. Her work includes Collection Food, Cultivating People: Subsistence and Society in Central Africa (Yale, 2016), Speaking with Substance: Language and Materials in African History (with Jeffery Fleisher, Springer, 2019), and Tracing Language Movement Across Africa (ed. With Ericka Albaugh, Oxford, 2018). She is also author of “Sounding the African Atlantic,” The William & Mary Quarterly (October 2021).

Maurice Jackson

Maurice Jackson teaches in the History and African American Studies Departments and is an Affiliated Professor of Music (Jazz) at Georgetown University. Before coming to academe, he worked as a longshoreman, shipyard rigger, construction worker and community organizer. He  is author of Let This Voice Be Heard: Anthony Benezet, Father of Atlantic Abolitionism, co-editor of African-Americans and the Haitian Revolution, of Quakers and their Allies in the Abolitionist Cause,1754-1808 and DC Jazz: Stories of Jazz Music in Washington, DC. Jackson wrote the liner notes to the 2 jazz CDs by Charlie Haden and Hank Jones, Steal Away: Spirituals, Folks Songs and Hymns and Come Sunday. He has recently lectured in France, Turkey, Italy, Puerto Rico, and Qatar. He served on the Georgetown University Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation. A 2009 inductee into the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame, he was appointed by the Mayor and the DC Council as Inaugural Chair of the DC Commission on African American Affairs (2013-16) and presented “An Analysis: African American Employment, Population & Housing Trends in Washington, D.C.” to the Mayor and elected leaders of the D.C. government in 2017. He is completing work on Halfway to Freedom: The Struggles and Strivings of African American in Washington, DC to be published by Duke University Press. He and his wife Laura Ginsburg live in DC and have two children. 

Huaping Lu-Adler

Huaping Lu-Adler is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. She joined Georgetown in 2012, right after receiving her PhD at University of California, Davis. Her current research combines her interests in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Western-European philosophy, history of philosophy of science, critical philosophy of race, and social epistemology. She is particularly keen on understanding the multilateral process of racial knowledge production in the Enlightenment era against the backdrop of settler colonialism and Atlantic slavery. She is the author of Kant, Race, and Racism: Views from Somewhere (Oxford University Press, 2023). She has written and continues to write about how Enlightenment philosophers like Kant saw slavery. She is also exploring the many ways in which race concepts, once created, help to entrench existing power structures and shape how we experience ourselves as well as how we perceive others. She plans to dig into this topic through her next book, tentatively titled Kant and the Enlightenment’s Other.

Chandra Manning

Chandra Manning teaches U.S. history, chiefly of the 19th century, including classes on the Civil War, slavery and emancipation, Lincoln, citizenship, the American Revolution, and the History of Baseball at Georgetown University. She began teaching at Georgetown in 2005, took leave to serve as Special Advisor to the Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University from 2015-2017, and returned to Georgetown full time in the fall of 2017. Her first book, What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War (Knopf, 2007) won the Avery O. Craven Prize awarded by the Organization of American Historians, earned Honorable Mention for the Lincoln Prize and the Virginia Literary Awards for Nonfiction, and was a finalist for the American Civil War Museum’s book prize and the Frederick Douglass Prize. Her second book, Troubled Refuge: Struggling for Freedom in the Civil War (Knopf, 2016), about Civil War refugee camps where former slaves allied with the Union Army and altered the course of the war and of emancipation, won the American Civil War Museum’s award for best book on the Civil War. A former National Park Service Ranger, she has also advised historical sites, museums, and historical societies, as well as community groups in search of historical perspective. 

Angelyn Mitchell

Angelyn Mitchell is an associate professor in the Departments of English and African American Studies at Georgetown University. Dr. Mitchell is a four-time recipient of the GU Black Student Alliance’s Outstanding Faculty Award, as well as a recipient of the Georgetown College Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2015. In 2017, Dr. Mitchell was named by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education as one of 25 outstanding women leaders in higher education. In 2020, Dr. Mitchell received the Distinguished Leader Award from the GU African American Alumni Advisory Board. She is a founding member and past officer of the Toni Morrison Society, and she currently serves as a member of the Toni Morrison Society’s Board of Directors. She is the author of The Freedom to Remember: Narrative, Slavery, & Gender in Contemporary Black Women’s Fiction (Rutgers UP, 2002) and the co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to African American Women’s Writing (Cambridge UP, 2009). She is currently completing a book entitled “Toni Morrison: A Writerly Life” (Polity Press, forthcoming), and her next book project is “1963: A Racial Biography.” Dr. Mitchell founded Georgetown University’s African American Studies Program in 2003 and served as its first director from 2003-2013. From 2001-2021, she directed the Mentoring Future Professors of Color Program (formerly the Minority Mentoring Program), a program for Georgetown undergraduate students of color interested in becoming professors. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the College Language Association, the Toni Morrison Society, the American Studies Association, and the Modern Language Association.

Carlos Simon

Carlos Simon is a Grammy-nominated composer who teaches in the Department of Performing Arts at Georgetown University. After graduating with a M.A. from both Georgia State and New York University, Simon studied at the University of Michigan, where he earned a doctorate in musical arts. He now writes concert music and award-winning film scores that showcase his early musical influences of jazz, gospel and neo-romanticism. Simon is the composer of Requiem for the Enslaved, a musical homage to the GU272+. His latest concert piece, Elegy, was performed by his quartet at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C, that honored the lives of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner. In 2021, Simon received the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, becoming only the second composer to receive the award; the same year, he joined the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as composer-in-residence. Simon has had recent commissions from orchestras like the Philadelphia Orchestra, Washington National Opera, Reno Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, and Arizona State University Symphony Orchestra. He has been sought after for the Irving Klein String Competition, Morehouse College, the University of Michigan Symphony Band and Albany Symphony’s Dogs of Desire, as well as serving as the young composer-in-residence with the Detroit Chamber String and Winds in 2016.

Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò

Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. He completed his PhD at University of California, Los Angeles. Before that, he completed BAs in Philosophy and Political Science at Indiana University. His theoretical work draws liberally from German transcendental philosophy, contemporary philosophy of language, contemporary social science, histories of activism and activist thinkers, and the Black radical tradition. He is the author of Reconsidering Reparations (Oxford 2022), which proposes a novel philosophical argument for reparations and explores links with environmental justice. He also is committed to public engagement and publishes articles in popular outlets with general readership (e.g. Slate, Pacific Standard) exploring intersections between climate justice and colonialism.

Graduate Students

Ishmael Annang

Ishmael Noye Annang is a fifth-year PhD candidate in African history in Georgetown’s Department of History. His research interests, broadly, are in the areas of precolonial Africa; modern Africa; environmental/eco-cultural history; Atlantic history; and indigenous slavery in Ghana. His dissertation studies agricultural festivals and ritual ecologies in the Volta River basin of Ghana as an entrypoint to understanding the full extent of interactions between Africa and the Atlantic. Before Georgetown, Ishmael got both his bachelors and masters (MPhil) degrees in history at the University of Ghana, Legon. Interspersing these degrees were different stints as Teaching Assistant, Graduate Teaching Assistant, and an instructor at the University Studies Abroad Consortium at the University of Ghana, where he taught a survey history of Ghana to a cohort of international students mostly from the United States. He was also a high school history teacher at the British International School in Ghana the year preceding his debut at Georgetown. 

Greg Beaman

Greg A. Beaman is a historian of Atlantic slavery writing about urban development, the built environment, and spatiality in eighteenth and nineteenth century New Orleans. Beaman also examines the legacies of slavery in twentieth century infrastructure and neighborhood segregation. In 2010, Beaman founded Our House Stories, a historical research firm that focuses on the stories of ordinary New Orleanians who built not only homes but lives, families, and careers in the Crescent City. Since 2014, he has been Director of Research for the Claiborne Avenue History Project, a multi-platform documentary project that collects and curates the history of North Claiborne Avenue, a commercial and cultural center for the African American community of New Orleans. Beaman is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Georgetown University.

Claire Bents

Claire Bents is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at Georgetown University. Her research centers on the intersecting histories and legacies of slavery and piracy across the Atlantic World in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Born and raised in Minnesota, Claire attended St. Olaf College and graduated with a B.A. in both History and Social Studies Education. She taught a wide assortment of Social Studies courses at Lakeville South High School for three years before heading east to pursue her doctorate. Claire’s passion for bridging academic research, material culture, and inquiry-driven education can be seen through her past work with the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the U.S. Department of State and DC History Center.

Jakob Burnham

Jakob Burnham is a PhD Candidate at Georgetown and a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas. He received his BA in International Relations and French Language and Literature, with a minor in History, from the University of Kentucky in 2016, and his master’s degree in History from Georgetown in 2018. His dissertation, Producing Pondichéry: Social Lives and Urban Development in French India, 1699-1757, examines how French and European colonial agents, South Asian residents, and other itinerant subjects built their newly founded port-city into a globally connected trading nexus. Burnham’s research takes a particular interest in how the domestic and urban economies of the European port-city in South Asia became entangled with and eventually helped to perpetuate indentured, bonded and enslaved labor networks across the Indian Ocean. Burnham has studied the Indian Ocean World since his arrival at Georgetown University and has conducted research in archives from France, the US, the United Kingdom, Réunion, and India. His research and scholarly work has been supported by the US Department of Education, the US Fulbright Commission, the Newberry Library, and the Society for French Historical Studies.  

George Clay

George Clay is a PhD candidate in the Georgetown History Department. Originally from the United Kingdom, he received his BA and MPhil from the University of Cambridge. He works on slavery and empire in the seventeenth-century Caribbean, with his PhD dissertation examining slavery in both the English and the Spanish empires with a particular focus on the religious and ideological dimensions of the institution. His work is based on archival research conducted in Bogotá, Cartagena, Madrid, Seville, and London, which has been generously supported by the Georgetown Americas Institute and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He is also interested in the History of Emotions, and the theoretical problem of how to write histories which analyze emotions as engines of historical change. He has also worked extensively on Jesuit history, including the intellectual history of Jesuits, slavery, and empire. He studied Jesuit slaveholding as a Mellon Fellow at Saint Louis University in Spring Semester 2023.

Andrew Davenport

Andrew M. Davenport is the Public Historian at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and Director of the Getting Word African American Oral History Project. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Georgetown University, where he served as a research assistant with the Georgetown Slavery Archive. Davenport has published in Lapham’s Quarterly, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Smithsonian Magazine. He earned a B.A. in English from Kenyon College, an M.A. in American Studies from Fairfield University, and an M.A. in U.S. History from Georgetown University.

Luke Frederick

Born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, Luke Frederick is currently a PhD Candidate in History at Georgetown University and the Georgetown Slavery Archive doctoral fellow. A scholar of African American history, his area of specialization is the policing and incarceration of African Americans before the Civil War. His current project focuses upon these forces in antebellum Washington, DC, and how both private and public systems relied on imprisonment in the attempt to maintain white supremacy and produce profitable systems of racial control over the free black and enslaved population. His interests include Atlantic history, slavery and capitalism studies, environmental history, and Latin American history.

Jordan Michael Terry

Jordan Michael Terry is a third-year JD candidate at Georgetown Law. His research interests include constitutional law, the legal history of slavery, and human rights law. Born and raised in Atlanta, Jordan earned an A.B., magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College, where he received numerous academic prizes in History and served as an inaugural member of the Dartmouth Slavery Project. Jordan holds a master’s degree in European History from Oxford University where he was an Ertegun Scholar in the Humanities and a member of the Oxford Union. Jordan’s graduate thesis, Brought to Justice: Race, Gender, and the Law in Late Georgian London (1772-1838), explored the ways enslaved Black women took the law into their own hands by absconding and suing for their freedom in British courts. Prior to law school, Jordan worked as a consultant at Google.

Cooper Wingert

Cooper Wingert is a PhD candidate in the History Department at Georgetown University. His work centers on federalism, governance, and slavery in the Civil War Era and across the nineteenth century U.S. His scholarship has been featured in the Journal of American History and Civil War History. Wingert is the author of several books, including Slavery and the Underground Railroad in South Central Pennsylvania. Wingert also serves as Assistant Director of the National Park Service project Slave Stampedes on the Southern Borderlands.

Undergraduate Students

Isabel Corvington
Isabel Corvington is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in American Studies and minoring in Spanish. She was born and raised right outside of DC and is passionate about shedding light on the city’s relationship and history with race. She is interested in pursuing a career in public policy.

Clayton Kincade
Clayton Kincade is a junior in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, majoring in Culture and Politics with a focus in law, media, and technology. He is also pursuing minors in French and journalism. Born and raised in Arkansas, Clayton hopes to focus his career on civil rights issues affecting the South, including those tied to slavery, educational disparities, immigration and LGBTQ rights.

Chantal Li
Chantal Li is a junior in the School of Foreign Service majoring in Science Technology and International Affairs. After taking Professor Rothman’s history course on Facing Georgetown’s History, she became interested in curricular and campus transformation. She focuses on finding ways to illuminate Georgetown’s history of enslavement within the student body, fostering discourse. Chantal is also a worker at the Red House on campus, and part of the SFS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office.