David Eltis is Professor Emeritus at Emory University, and has affiliated status at University of British Columbia, and the Hutchins Institute, Harvard University. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Most recently he has co- authored essays in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Journal of African History and the American Historical Review. He is co-author of Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (New Haven, 2010), author of The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas (Cambridge, 2000), and co-compiler of www.slavevoyages.org and www.african- origins.org. He is also co-editor of and contributor to Extending the Frontiers: Essays on the New Transatlantic Slave Trade Database (New Haven, 2008) and volumes 3 (2011), 4 (2017) and 2 (2019) of the Cambridge World History of Slavery, as well as From the Galleons to the Highlands: The Slave Trade to Spanish America (Albuquerque, 2019).
Presentation: Visualizing what cannot be shown and sustaining the unsustainable: Lessons for the DH from slavevoyages.org
Abstract: The development of www.slavevoyages.org has now spanned half a century – from IBM punch cards to Vue js. The project has received what most would consider adequate (and international) funding, it presents in three languages, and it has hosted more than four million sessions from around the Atlantic World. Yet it still struggles to find an answer to the sustainability question and is still uncertain about where the limits on visualizing sensitive topics as the Holocaust and the slave trade are actually located. Some reflections on possible solution.