Dr. Ricia Chansky and Dr. Eric Lamore have an amazing summer ahead of them by accepting prestigious residencies at New York University (NYU) for this upcoming June, with each working on their individual, outstanding projects. Chasky will further work on editing her autobiography studies and oral history on Hurricane María, while Lamore develops a critical edition of the Quaker Abigail Field Mott’s 1829 Life and Adventures of Olaudah Equiano.

Dr. Ricia Chansky’s Scholar-in-Residence at NYU will focus on her project, “Mi Maria: Puerto Rico after the Hurricane.” This large-scale public humanities project, situated within the contexts of critical disaster studies and environmental humanities, has been developed by approximately 150 undergraduate students from many different majors and disciplinary areas at UPRM. This group have worked to collect narratives of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, including oral histories, song lyrics, and radio broadcasts, as well as working with scientists, practitioners, and community members to develop responses to some of the issues raised in the narratives, including homelessness, lack of food and drinking water, and problems with medical and mental health.

“This project is being done in conjunction with Voice of Witness and the Humanities Action Lab as part of the project,” explained Chansky on a written interview, “They will publish a book with Haymarket Books and contribute to an international, traveling exhibition curated by the Action Lab.” There will also be a breakout section of the exhibition focused just on Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico that will travel throughout the Carribean and the US. At NYU, Chansky will be editing selected longer narratives that she has collected from Adjuntas, Culebra, and San Juan.

Dr. Eric Lamore will also be a Summer Scholar-in-Residence at New York University, but through the Faculty Resource Network working on my critical edition of the Quaker Abigail Field Mott’s 1829 book, Life and Adventures of Olaudah Equiano. This is an unauthorized, posthumous, and abridged edition of Equiano’s autobiography. His will work focuses on the publishing history of Equiano’s autobiography in the United States, investigating the links between education, slavery, resettlement, and citizenship in nineteenth-century New York.

“My focus is on the city of New York due to Mott’s creation of her abridged edition for African American students at the New York African Free School,” explained Lamore, “The New York publishers Samuel Wood and Sons printed Mott’s text, and the New York relief artist, Alexander Anderson, created a number of visual images for Mott’s Life and Adventures that honed the Free School students’ reading skills.” Lamore will visit various libraries in New York, including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the New-York Historical Library, and the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library at NYU. This to conduct archival research on Mott, nineteenth-century Quakers’ anti-slavery politics, the Woods’ publishing house, and the Free School for his critical edition book.

To learn more about these future NYU summer residents and their work check out our other articles featuring their projects: