Catherine A. Stewart is the author of Long Past Slavery: Representing Race in the Federal Writers’ Project, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2016. Long Past Slavery examines the history behind the collection of more than 2,300 narratives from formerly enslaved people, as part of the New Deal’s Federal Writers’ Project. Stewart pays close attention to how the ex-slave narratives represented a site of contestation between many people who had competing visions of what America’s past looked like, and what the future could hold. From Black interviewers to members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy to the formerly enslaved themselves, Stewart illustrates how these narratives were a battleground over national memory, Black identity, and Black citizenship.
Catherine A. Stewart is Professor of History at Cornell College.
Derek Litvak is a Ph.D. student in the department of history at the University of Maryland.
Derek Litvak is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland—College Park. His dissertation, "The Specter of Black Citizens: Race, Slavery, and Citizenship in the Early United States," examines how citizenship was used to both bolster the institution of slavery and exclude Black Americans from the body politic.