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Home > Explore the Archive > ECDA | Google Maps Engine Project

ECDA | Google Maps Engine Project

The ECDA Google Maps Engine project is comprised of the work by two undergraduate scholars (Lindi Nguyen and Gabriel Feldstein) at Northeastern University. As an alternative course project for Professor Nicole Aljoe's Slave Narrative course (Spring 2014), and working with two of the co-Directors of the ECDA (Elizabeth Hopwood and Benjamin J. Doyle), Nguyen and Feldstein worked collaboratively over the term on building two seperate yet complimentary mapping projects for Aljoe's scholarly exhibit on Early Caribbean Slave Narratives. Nguyen's project offers an alternative mapping of the Early Caribbean Slave Narrative exhibit by plotting the geographic positions and movements of the persons who either composed or related the slave narratives that make up the primary sources of the exhibit. Please see below for more details. Where Nguyen's map guides visitors to the ECDA through the Caribbean Slave Narrative exhibit on a macro level, Feldstein offers a micro-mapping of the geographic positions and movements of Mary Prince as related in The History of Mary Prince.

We invite you to also visit another student-scholar project by Gregory Lum, a colleague of Nguyen and Feldstein's, who composed a scholarly introduction and analysis of Louis Asa-Asa's narrative in context with Mary Prince and her narrative. Please visit Lum's work here.

Please also visit the ECDA Teaching Materials and Project Guides page for more background information and teaching resources related to this student-scholars collaborative project.


 

Google Maps Engine of the ECDA's Early Caribbean Slave Narrative Exhibit (by Lindi Nguyen)

The following map has been composed by Lindi Nguyen, a student in Professor Nicole Aljoe's course on the Slave Narrative at Northeastern University in the spring of 2014.

 


 

 

This is a multi-layer map detailing both the movements of authors of Early Caribbean Slave Narratives as well as narrative publication information. As you explore the map, you can click on pins directly for more details or refer to the sidebar which can take you step-by-step through an author’s movement throughout his or her life. Also on the sidebar, you can hide or reveal layers, customizing the map to what you’re interested in.

As an alternative way to navigate the Early Caribbean Slave Narrative Exhibit, we can use this map to visualize not only the widespread diaspora that came as a result of slavery, but where these voices came to be heard through narrative publication as well. To locate these narratives and authors on this map means to view slavery’s impact on a global scale. By localizing these texts, we can better understand movement and publication trends prevalent to the Caribbean slave industry during the 18th and 19th century.  

(Lindi Nguyen | Northeastern University | Spring 2014 )


 

Google Maps Engine of Mary Prince's The History of Mary Prince (by Gabriel Feldstein)

The following map has been composed by Gabriel Feldstein, a student in Professor Nicole Aljoe's course on the Slave Narrative at Northeastern University in the spring of 2014.

The "Mary Prince Map" shows the specific places Prince stayed at different points throughout her narrative.  I wanted to not only map the places Prince stayed, but also to track her movement.  The lines across the map are there to show the ultimate extent of Prince's travels during her years in bondage. You'll notice, perhaps, most immediately, the different colors within this layer (Prince's Path) of the map.  Some of lines and points are green, while others are black or gray - this color distinction to meant to represent Prince's agency in her movement - a line will be green if she goes somewhere on her own will, gray if she goes to a place she wants, but must be brought there, and black if she is taken against her will.

The second layer of the map, entitled "Prince's Parents and Family" you'll see more plotted points and lines in multiple colors.  Simply, blue represents Prince's father, and maroon her mother.  Looking at this layer alone may be underwhelming, but it is ultimately there to be used in conjunction with "Prince's Path," showing when and where in Prince's life her family played an important role in her movement or was simply allowed or able to be with her.

I think this map does well in showing the diasporic elements of the slave narrative, as looking at the separation of the family and complicated notions of home create a sense of transience in Prince's narrative.  This map demonstrates the constant, and abundance of, struggle and movement before freedom is finally reached.

(Gabriel Feldstein | Northeastern University | Spring 2014)