IMG_5554[77]_edited_edited.jpg

About the creator

My name is Elizabeth Sheline and I am a senior at Middlebury College, a predominantly-white, small, liberal arts college in Middlebury, Vermont. I am a history and black studies double major, and I am particularly interested in the political and intellectual histories of black resistance movements, especially in the context of higher education. In my time at Middlebury, I have taken many courses that have forced me to reconsider my own understanding of the role of the university in American society. I have ultimately come to realize, the university, in many respects, is an institutional byproduct of colonialism, one that is inextricable from past and present projects of domination.

While I recognize my own privilege as a student of one of these institutions, and as an alumna of another—a private college preparatory boarding and day school—and while I recognize my own complicity in ongoing projects of domination, I have also experienced and witnessed, firsthand, the ways in which these institutions develop and maintain hierarchies and cultures of exclusion that disproportionately harm Black people and other marginalized people who inhabit bodies or embrace identities that are inherently oppositional to various forms of rich, white, heteropatriarchal power.

This project, then, is a result of my own experience as a biracial black student at Middlebury and my own familiarity with the ways in which the institution has and continues to control and obscure the lived experiences of Black people at the college, and the ways in which it has continually failed to responsibly document and archive black life at Middlebury. This project is also a result of my own desire to imagine new and creative possibilities for resistance, that is, my desire to imagine new ways in which black faculty, students, and alumni can collectively and collaboratively resist institutional erasure and reclaim narrative control over their lives and memories.

Throughout the project, I intend to share more about my experience as a student at Middlebury, but in the meantime, I would love to know more about you. How did you hear about the project? Would you like to get involved?