History, Indiana University
Project: Mapping Antislavery: A Prototype for Collaborative Historical GIS
Kirsten Sword is an assistant professor in the Department of History; she is an historian of early America in the Atlantic age of revolutions, with particular interests in gender, race and the law. Her central intellectual concern is with the transformation of early modern household relations of dependence from assumed and accepted ways of ordering society into social and political problems.
Her IDAH project, Mapping Antislavery, is a geospatial database that tracks Quaker networks, itinerant people of color, antislavery propaganda, and courtroom challenges to slavery during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth-centuries. The project maps long-hidden connections among antislavery activists and events, offering fresh perspectives on the rise of antislavery that hold broad significance for multi-disciplinary debates about emergence of humanitarian social movements. She will be developing a database structure that can be integrated with open-source geographic systems to generate maps and other tools for visualizing historical data. The technical aim is to create a prototype for larger databases that will facilitate collaborative and cumulative social historical research.