The Marino Family International Writer's Academic Workshop 2019: Washington Black

Stephen Richard Kerbs Exhibit Area

A companion exhibition to the Marino Workshop, which this year features Esi Edugyan's novel Washington Black.

Marino Workshop 2019 sign

Washington Black first edtion

Washington Black

Edugyan, Esi. Washington Black. Toronto: Patrick Crean Editions/HarperCollins Canada, 2018. First edition, signed and dated on title page at the 2018 Toronto International Festival of Authors. 

Special Collections Booker Prize PR9199.4.E35 W37 2018

Women Warriors of Dahomey

 "I loved that voice, its rough music. She would suck air through her teeth and squint up her eyes and begin, 'When I was royal guard at Dahomey,' or 'after I crush the antelope with my hands, like this,' and I would stop whatever task was at hand, and stand listening in wonder."

Alpern, Stanley B. Amazons of Black Sparta: The Women Warriors of Dahomey. New York: New York University Press, 1998.
Lauinger Stacks UB419.B46 A48 1998

Dahomey Map

"I did not understand why we waited. I wanted to see her homeland, I told her. I wanted to walk in Dahomey with her, free.

'But it must be done right, child,” she whispered to me. 'Under a right moon. With right words. The gods cannot be summoned otherwise.'"

Fage, J. D. An Atlas of African History. London: Edward Arnold (Publishers) Ltd., 1958. Open to Map 30: States of the Guinea Forest and Savanna, XVIIth to XIXth Centuries.

Lauinger Stacks G2446.S1 F3 1958

Dahomey Suite CD cover

Dahomey Suite

"In the smouldering fields she would glisten as if oiled, tearing up the wretched earth, humming strange songs under her breath, her flesh rippling. Some nights in the huts she would murmur in her sleep, in the low, thick language of her kingdom, and cry out."

Kolinski, M. Dahomey Suite for Oboe and Piano Based on Seven Documentary Dahomey Songs: With Documentary Recordings. Washington, D.C.: Folkways Records, 1959. Reflecting the mix of European and African influences on Washington Black’s life, this music blends West African musical style with tonal music of the western tradition.

Source: Music Online: Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries [online library database]

Dahomey Suite

Pennington Aerostation proposal to Congress

Aerostat diagram


“'....This boy you see here was granted me as an assistant. He has played a crucial role in the assembly and launching of my aerostat.'
'The balloon that is now at the bottom of the sea,' said the doctor.
'It is not a balloon,' said Titch."

A System of Aerostation, or Steam Aerial Navigation. John H. Pennington. Washington, D.C., printed at the Index Office, 1842. Petition to Congress, with diagram.

Special Collections 88A536

Through the Pack

Through the Pack

"Sailing, we glimpsed in the passing black waters eerie, exquisite cathedrals of ice."

Through the Pack
Jörg Schmeisser
Etching with aquatint on paper
Fairchild Endowment Fund purchase

Georgetown University Art Collection 2010.22.1.20

Photo of Arctic expedition

Arctic Expedition

"Finally we neared the Bay, and the trading post. The black waters were calm and still speckled with chunks of ice."

From the Arctic Expedition photo album of Frederick Sohon, MD
Gelatin silver print

Georgetown University Manuscripts Collections MSS.1111.1.6500

Map of Nova Scotia et al

Nova Scotia

"He was a long-time resident of Nova Scotia, his family having arrived as refugees at the Melville Island Prison—once used for American prisoners of war—back in 1815."

Map of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland
John Rapkin
Steel engraving with hand coloring on paper
ca. 1851
Gift of Eric F. Menke

Georgetown University Art Collection 1979.6.107

New York shells

Diderot sea creatures


“'She knows all there is to know about molluscs,' I said. 'If you can imagine.'"

Illustrations from:

De Kay, James E. Zoology of New-York, or the New-York Fauna. Part V. Mollusca. Albany: Carroll and Cook, Printers to the Assembly, 1843.

Special Collections General LC QH105.N7 N2 div. 1, vol. 5


Diderot, Denis. Encyclopédie, ou, Dictionnaire raissoné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. Planches, vol. 6. Paris: Panckoucke, Charles Joseph, 1768.

Special Collections Detroit Collection AE25.E53 1751-1780

Barbados slaves celebrating emancipation

Antislavery Examiner #17


"When I heard news of the English establishing an apprenticeship system in the Indies, a measure proving that slavery truly was ended—or so I then believed—Medwin and I went out to celebrate."

Paget, H. M. Newly freed slaves, Barbados, 1833. Illustration from an illustrated history of England published circa 1912.

Source: Black Studies Center [online library database]


Jas. A. Thome and J. Horace Kimball. The Antislavery Examiner No. 7: Emancipation in the West Indies. A Six Months’ Tour in Antigua, Barbadoes, and Jamaica in the Year 1837. New York: The American Anti-Slavery Society, 1838.

Special Collections General LC HT1093.T4

Catesby Natural History crab and coral illustration


"She sat holding the anxious crab in her good hand. I did not speak. Goff might have been an ocean away.
Finally Tanna frowned and, reaching her hand over the edge of the boat, gently deposited the little crab back into the sea."

Crab and Coral illustration from:
Catesby, Mark. The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands…, London, Printed at the expense of the author, and sold by W. Innys and R. Manby [et al.], 1731-43.

Special Collections 77VB1

Map of Solomon Islands et al

Solomon Islands

"She had, most strangely, been born in the Solomon Islands, though she did not say how she came to be here, on the desolate shores of Nova Scotia."

Map of Solomon Islands et al. from:
Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition, during the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842, vol. V. Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard, 1845.

Special Collections 75A433

Diving Video still image


"With a cold punch the air left my lungs, and the freezing black waters sucked at my body. The first few seconds were utterly shocking, and in the wavering shadows I felt both strangely weightless and like a pile of iron, my legs in their canvas suit stirring in the waters, my head solid and leaden in its helmet."

Lachmann, M. “Down” [Episode 1] in To Boldly Go. London: BBC Worldwide, 2012. Still image captured from streaming video. 

Source: Academic Video Online [online library database]

"Down" video


Marine Communities

"The tide pools were most alive at first light. The hazy air seemed to gild all that lay within, the anemones glowing pink as human flesh, their tentacles open and pleading."

Snelgrove, P. “Marine Communities” in Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2007.

Blommer Science Library Reference QH302.5 .E54 2002
Also available in electronic format online

Haeckel octopus


"The creature shot up from its rock, its orange arms boiling all around it, the suckers very white."

Illustration from:
Haeckel, Ernst. Art Forms in Nature. Munich, New York: Prestel, 1998.
Consortium Loan, Marymount University, QH46.H213 1998


Missiones in Marylandia, manuscript

Missiones in Marylandia, typescript, page 1

Missiones in Marylandia, typescript, page 2

Missiones in Marylandia, typescript, page 3

Primary Sources

"I pulled back a chair, sensing Tanna take the chair opposite. I did not see her, felt only my hands on the crusted paper, the fragility of it, as if the lives described here might break apart in my clumsy fingers; as if I would destroy these people’s sole commemoration, however awful it was."

The original document of Fr. George Hunter S. J.’s 1765 survey of the Maryland missions in Maryland is part of the Maryland Province Archives, held in the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in Lauinger Library. The survey and its transcription, as well as hundreds of other documents, can be viewed online in the Georgetown Slavery Archive, part of Georgetown University’s Slavery, Memory and Reconciliation Initiative.

Maryland Province Archives, Box 57, Folder 1

Barbados slaves image from 19th century

19th-Century Views

“You did not see me—you did not look at me, and see me. You wanted to, but you didn’t, you failed. You saw, in the end, what every other white man saw when he looked at me.”

Illustration from:
Adams, William. The Modern Voyager and Traveller through Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, volume 3. London: Henry Fisher, Son, and P. Jackson, 1828.
Source: Nineteenth-Century Collections Online [online library database]


Exhibition curated by:

Jill Hollingsworth, Science Liaison and Reference Librarian
Stephanie Hughes, Project and Communications Coord., Special Collections
Christen Runge, Assistant Curator, University Art Collection
Holly Surbaugh, Science Liaison and Reference Librarian