Louis Nelson author of “Architectures of West African Enslavement,” is awarded the 2015 Catherine W. Bishir Prize. In this article, Nelson looks not only at fortifications in West Africa in which slaves awaiting sale were imprisoned, but, defining space broadly, also at the whole sequence of capture, journey to the coast, and loading onto ships. One of the “methodological convictions” that Nelson lays out in this article is that the experience of a space is far more important than its material making. As he points out, “understanding the architecture of the slave trade helps to ground the horror.” Nelson’s work is rooted in vernacular studies, but he extends it in new directions, including his analysis of how a place is experienced, how a transaction might involve a sequence of spaces, and how these places relate to larger economic systems. Examining both the particular and the general, Nelson’s article is a model of vernacular studies.