Spring 2019


During the 2019 Spring Presentation, students shared their research further exploring slave ownership through slave-owning alumni and exploring the university's early fundraising efforts. The students also studied campus rhetoric about slavery in the forms of faculty commencement speeches and student groups and their debates, publications, members, and demographics of students who served in the military. Further research into the medical school has expanded into the way Penn functioned as an academic institution. Researchers focused on professors and students in the early medical school, and even identified archival errors that obscured accomplishments of the first African American medical professional to receive an education at Penn.  Students also studied the collections of crania and other specimens and the source of cadavers used in lectures. Additional research was conducted on the various medical literature published by graduates, professors, and alumni in the form of graduate theses, medical journals, and books. 

Using these methods, students explored the diverse ways Penn certified and produced knowledge in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. Through their efforts, the Penn & Slavery Project has further identified ways that Penn and Penn's alumni used profits from the slave trade to help the university remain financially secure. And after acquiring this wealth, Penn professors later served as the source of campus dialogues about slavery, and race science in the medical field.

Bryan Anderson-Wooten Student Report

Ashley Waiters Student Report

Note: Remaining reports and links to research will be updated regularly.