Adam Rothman is a professor of history at Georgetown University, where he teaches courses on slavery and abolition in the United States and the Atlantic world. He is the author of Beyond Freedom's Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery (2015) and Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South (2005), as well as a coauthor of Major Problems in Atlantic History (2007) and an associate editor of the Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History (2009). He was a member of Georgetown University's Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation, and is the principal curator of the online Georgetown Slavery Archive. He has worked extensively with middle school and high school teachers in the Washington, D.C., area to enrich U.S. history curriculum and teaching.
This lecture explores Georgetown University's historical involvement with the institution of slavery and the school's current efforts to recognize that history and address its legacies. Georgetown's history is a microcosm the whole history of American slavery; it reveals the many ways that churches and schools depended on slavery, used enslaved labor, and legitimated the slave regime. Yet today Georgetown has become a test case for the prospect of reconciliation and reparation.