Wesley Hogan is Research Professor at the Franklin Humanities Institute and History at Duke University. She writes and teaches the history of youth social movements, human rights, documentary studies, and oral history. Her most recent book, On the Freedom Side, draws a portrait of young people organizing in the spirit of Ella Baker since 1960. In July 2021, her and Paul Ortiz’s co-edited, People Power: History, Organizing, and Larry Goodwyn’s Democratic Vision in the Twenty-First Century, came out.
Between 2003-2013, she taught at Virginia State University, where she worked with the Algebra Project and the Young People’s Project. From 2013-2021, she served as Director of the Center for Documentary Studies. She co-facilitates a partnership between the SNCC Legacy Project and Duke, The SNCC Digital Gateway, whose purpose is to bring the grassroots stories of the civil rights movement to a much wider public through a web portal, K12 initiative, and set of critical oral histories.
Affiliated Project 2022-23
How do people collectively remember; in the way they teach and learn; in the way they relate to each other— what if the US took a page out of the German experience? What if they would install, as the citizens of Berlin have done, Stolpersteine, marking each home or business in Richmond where people held other people in bondage? Imagine Richmond’s older playgrounds, each with a historical marker stating “White and Black children were forbidden to play together here until 1965” (a model that can be found in Berlin Schöneberg‘s permanent street exhibit by artists Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock)?
This fall, Wesley Hogan will be doing oral histories with museum experts, historians, teachers, curators, artists, and community convenors in Berlin who have been centrally involved in the memory work of the last 30 years here. Building from philosophers Susan Neiman’s work, her hope is to document and learn from these memory workers with an eye to bringing back their experiential knowledge to cities in the US South like Richmond, VA or Durham, NC. How might these practical steps to learning from collective history be adapted in the US South, currently tearing itself apart over different visions of history, divergent understandings of current politics, and an uncertain future?