Cogut Institute for the Humanities

Connor Jenkins

2021–22 Undergraduate Fellow, Concentrator in History and Africana Studies
Project “'Fear gave speed to our steps': Slavery’s Hauntings and the Long Lives of Plantation Geographies in Edenton, North Carolina from 1850 to 1880"
Last updated August 9, 2022, based on June 2021 biographical sketch


Connor Jenkins ’22 (he/him) graduated from Brown with honors in English and Africana Studies.

His thesis focuses on slavery’s afterlives through a spatial and genealogical lens in his home state of North Carolina. In 1861, Harriet Jacobs anonymously published her narrative about her escape from slavery. In the 1970s, historians located Jacobs’ enslavement in Edenton, North Carolina. To understand regional (mis-)remembering of slavery, Connor maps Edenton geographies and lineages pre-1865 and post-1865 through correspondence and newspapers. By interviewing Edentonians, he investigates antebellum legacies in modern space and gender roles. His project simply asks: what changed in Edenton after emancipation? Much historiography considers slavery through geography and gender, yet local histories often omit these analytics. Calculated local forgetting of slavery undergirds spectacular insurrectionary activity and quotidian structural inequality, rendering his project urgent and timely.

Connor was a corecipient for the the John Thomas Memorial Award for the Best History Department Thesis.

He also cofacilitated a reading group at the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice on the modern carceral state, underwriting his commitment to subverting the boundaries of academic knowledge and to intellectual accountability.