"Phantoms of the Plantation South: An Exploration of Ghost Tourism at Sites of Slavery"
presented by Tiya Miles, Mary Henrietta Graham Distinguished University Professor, University of Michigan
Ghost tourism is steadily competing with traditional tourism in America's historic places today, including plantation sites and urban centers in the South that have been shaped by histories of slavery. This lecture explores ways in which enslaved figures from the past have been folded into popular ghost tour narratives and touches on how these touristic interpretations misrepresent racial and gender dynamics of the 19th century. The talk is intended to spark productive dialogue about how we remember difficult aspects of our regional and national pasts.
Tiya Miles is the Mary Henrietta Graham Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan, where she teaches in the departments of Afro-American & African Studies, American Culture, History, Native American Studies and Women's Studies. She is the author of two prize-winning works of history, Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom (2005) and The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story (2010). She has published historical fiction, The Cherokee Rose (2015), a travel narrative about historic sites of slavery, Tales from the Haunted South (2015), and various articles on women's history and black and indigenous interrelated experience. She is co-editor, with Sharon P. Holland, of Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds: The African Diaspora in Indian Country (2006). Her work has been supported in recent years by the Mellon Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. Miles is currently writing a history of slavery in Detroit.