GWU Professor Selected to Participate in Slave Narratives Seminar at Yale University

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Dr. Joseph Moore One of 25 Chosen by the Council of Independent Colleges

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Dr. Joseph S. Moore, assistant professor of history at Gardner-Webb University, has been selected to participate in a seminar on Slave Narratives sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

He is one of 25 CIC faculty members from across the nation chosen to attend the program, which will be held at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

David Blight, Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale, will lead participants through a study of the texts of freed and runaway slaves. Blight is the world’s foremost historian on Americans’ historical memory of slavery before and after the Civil War.

“Every young graduate student cuts their teeth on his work, and the chance to work with him is a tremendous honor,” Moore affirmed. “I am very thankful to the Council of Independent Colleges, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Yale University and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History for this opportunity.”

The seminar will use slave narratives, as well as assigned secondary reading, to comprehend the experience of slaves themselves in the transition from bondage to freedom. The study includes the writings of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington.

“These texts became the smoking gun of evidence in the court of public opinion that slavery violated American values of freedom and justice for all,” Moore concluded. “And they are invaluable insights into life before emancipation and the abolitionist movement itself.”

Moore teaches courses examining early America and the Atlantic World, especially regarding issues of race, religion and slavery. He is the recipient of various grants and fellowships from institutions such as Harvard, Duke, and the Organization for American Historians. His writings have appeared in The New York Times and a variety of books and journals. He is the author of Founding Sins: How a Group of Antislavery Radicals Fought to Put Christ into the Constitution (Oxford University Press).

The Yale program provides an opportunity for Moore to approach his current studies from a different perspective. “My most recent research, which Gardner-Webb honors students are exploring with me in a seminar this semester, investigates how religion shaped the views of money and personal finance for Early Americans,” he explained. “I am especially excited to explore how freed slaves viewed the good and bad of capitalism as they sought to make their way in a world of cash and credit both before and after freedom.”

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).