The LSU Libraries has awarded research travel grants to three researchers who will use the extensive historical material in the LSU Special Collections for their respective research and book projects. The purpose of the grants is to support the travel and lodging costs associated with a research trip to Baton Rouge.
Dr. David Ballantyne, Lecturer in American History at Keele University in Staffordshire, England will conduct research for his book project, Bloody Rapides? Reconstructing Central Louisiana. His book is a micro-history of the 1860-80 period in central Louisiana, especially majority-black Rapides Parish. Rapides and the surrounding anti-secessionist parishes of Winn and Catahoula provide a valuable case study for examining the contestation of black political and economic demands at the local level, the relationship between white wartime Unionism and postwar Republicanism, and the viability of a Reconstruction settlement safeguarding African American freedoms in the rural Deep South.
Dionne Ford is an independent researcher from Montclair, New Jersey. Her book project, titled Finding Josephine, is a memoir inspired by a photograph from the early 1890s of her enslaved great-great-grandmother and her slave-owning great-great-grandfather. Various collections and family papers in the LSU Special Collections will shed light on this history. Ford’s book is under contract with Penguin Random House and is scheduled for publication in 2019.
Dr. Carin Peller-Semmens is a historian based in Edinburgh, Scotland, working on a book titled Unreconstructed: Slavery and Emancipation on Louisiana’s Red River, 1820–1880, which is an examination of power, white supremacy, and the mentality of slavery in northwest Louisiana. Peller-Semmens’ work argues that when freedom arrived, this unbroken fidelity to mastery and to the inheritances and ideology of slavery gave rise to a visceral regime of violence. Her book is under advance contract with the LSU Press as part of the Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War series. She will use three collections of letters and papers from the LSU Special Collections for her research.
We look forward to hosting these scholars as they conduct research in our Special Collections.