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Representations of slavery in Washington, D.C.: A case study on presenting slavery at Dumbarton House

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posted on 2023-09-06, 03:35 authored by Christopher Charles Celauro

Most early urban historic house museums and plantation museums originated around a need to "strengthen and fortify the conservative element of the nation's life" through restoring the homes of white, elite, male political figures (West 1999:2). Even today, this continues. However, some historical institutions are now attempting to interpret the other history of these house and plantation museums-the story of those enslaved. Contemporary theory states that museums and historic sites fit into one of four representational categories in their interpretations of slavery which are: symbolic annihilation and erasure, trivialization and deflection, segregation and marginalization, and relative incorporation (Eichstedt and Small: 2002). I will apply this typology to these five D.C. historic house museums: Decatur House, Arlington House, Tudor Place, the Frederick Douglass House, and Dumbarton House. I will also provide a case study which will show Dumbarton House fits into the category of trivialization and deflection.

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ProQuest Dissertations & Theses

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English

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Thesis (M.A.)--American University, 2006.

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http://hdl.handle.net/1961/thesesdissertations:5799

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application/pdf

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Part of thesis digitization project, awaiting processing.

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