Work this summer for renowned humanities and arts scholar Professor Tracy Davis through the Undergraduate Research Assistant Program!
Beginning in the mid-1850s, a London couple left exceptional manuscript records of their taste and leisure, particularly how their social lives were enmeshed with liberal causes. The manuscript diaries of Frederick and Amelia Chesson reveal how this couple were at the center of mid-Victorian global politics, however not in the ways usually known to history. They were involved in the struggle to emancipate American slaves during the 1850s-60s as well as opposition to human trafficking, genocides, and exploitative labor throughout the British colonies yet spent their careers doing the “heavy lifting” of political organizing, research, and agitation rather than rising to legislative positions or significant public notoriety. This makes them interesting in several respects: their marriage, political convictions, and social networks reveal lives spent in compassionate conviction, shaping and supporting yet never superseding the orators and policy-makers whose reputations were made as radical politicians. This project links evidence in the diaries to evidence in the newspaper for which Frederick Chesson was sub-editor to unearth the couple’s hitherto unknown writings, both on political topics and in their capacity as theatre, music, and popular culture reviewers.
She seeks a student who is interested in one or more of the following areas: learning to work with manuscripts; nineteenth-century culture; political activism; British history; performance; learning historical research skills; organizing a historical research project; and/or software applications. Using new software (currently in beta testing), and working with the academic technologies unit of the library, we will set up the manuscripts for a study that will continue over several years.
For more info, click here.