How Historians Research

Play episode

Episode Summary

In this episode, we investigate how historians research history by exploring the experiences of 17th- and 18th-century enslaved African and African American women. Our guide for this exploration is Jennifer L. Morgan, a Professor of History and Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University.

Headshot of Jennifer Morgan

During our conversation, Jennifer reveals information about the daily lives of enslaved African and African American women; How women’s reproductive capabilities both impacted early American slavery and the way African and African American women experienced slavery; And, how she researches and recovers the lives and experiences of enslaved women.

What You’ll Discover

  • The daily lives of enslaved African and African American women in early America
  • Differences between the experiences of enslaved men and women
  • The impact slavery had on early American women’s lives
  • Whether slave owners tried to control the reproductive capabilities of female slaves
  • How women impacted the development of slavery
  • How Europeans used the bodies of women to mark the boundaries of African and European societies
  • How Jennifer started her research for Laboring Women
  • Jennifer’s research process and how it has matured
  • The role historical questions play in historians’ research
  • How historians form historical questions
  • How Jennifer chooses archives for her research
  • How historians use the internet to research their topics
  • How Jennifer researches enslaved women
  • How enslaved women experienced motherhood
  • The role of objectivity in historians’ research
  • How Jennifer handles researching and teaching the emotional and violent topic of slavery
  • How being interdisciplinary helps Jennifer think about and find information
  • Jennifer’s tips for selecting archives and conducting research

Links to People, Places, and Publications

Recent posts

Follow @DoingHistoryPod

Episode 3