Slave House Exploration and

Evidence Tracing Field School (SHEET)

The Slave House Exploration and Evidence Tracing Field School (SHEET) is an initiative of Saving Slave Houses’ Pharsalia Plantation Co-Stewardship Project which is a unique project that encourages and facilitates stewardship and partnership-building relationships between descendants of enslaved communities and descendants of enslaver families from Pharsalia Plantation in Nelson County, Virginia. A multigenerational group of community and descendant participants and student field school interns will explore the intersections between the built environment, history, humanities, community, and storytelling. The site will be studied and documented through four lenses: people, landscape, details, and archaeology. Participants and interns will also learn about the importance of oral histories as a form documentation and interpretation.

Through partnerships with programs, organizations, and companies that have significant impact on how history is documented, communicated, distributed, and understood (e.g., Historic American Buildings Survey, Trimble, and History Before Us), participants and interns will learn the skills necessary to use data they collect both from the field and their own research as effective storytelling tools – ones that engage and challenge the next generation of historians.

The Core Team members of SHEET (Jobie Hill, Star Reams, Nina Polley, and Frederick Murphy) represent a strong knowledge base and multi-discipline training in the fields of architecture, anthropology, oral histories, archaeology, historic preservation, storytelling, and African American history. Together, they formulate insightful, representative and evidence-based interpretations through broad, inclusive knowledge.

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