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Charlotte James

Research Associate and PhD Student

Thesis Title

  • PhD Thesis – ‘Heroic Souls’: The Antislavery Memory of Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth

I am a research associate for the Rights Lab’s Antislavery Usable Project, exploring the use of visual culture in the modern abolition movement. My focus is on murals and I am creating a database of modern antislavery murals across a variety of topics from around the world.

The aim of this project is to analyse portrayals of modern slavery through murals and examine how murals are used in the movement. I am also cultivating an archive of antislavery murals that use the images of Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth to highlight how the images of historical figures are repeatedly used in the modern civil rights struggle. This relates to my PhD thesis, which examines the memory of Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. I explore how these African American female abolitionists from the 19th Century have been remembered in visual culture, for example in sculptures, artwork, murals.

I am also interested in the portrayal of Tubman and Truth through children’s literature and have begun to explore the publication of juvenile literature on modern slavery. The ultimate aim of the PhD thesis is to create an archive of Tubman and Truth visual culture, alongside a book analysing their memory.



Practical Expertise

Areas of Research
  • African American women
  • American slavery and abolition
  • Visual culture

Public Engagement Activities

‘Sculptures, Murals and Artwork: The Antislavery Memory of Harriet Tubman’, Postgraduates Against Slavery Conference, University of Liverpool, 6th October 2017 ‘American Slavery and Abolition’, American Studies Lecture Series, Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls, 5th December 2017