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Anna Agbe-Davies is an archaeologist who specializes in “the modern period” (about AD 1500 to the present) in North America. Years ago she worked at an outdoor history museum called Colonial Williamsburg where she focused on the colonial period in the US (about AD 1600 to 1800), and especially the role of slavery and plantations in shaping American history. Lately, Anna has become very interested in the 20th and 21st centuries. She is currently writing a book about the homes and daily lives of black women engaged in social activism in Chicago and in North Carolina. She also works with staff and volunteers at Historic Stagville to discover and present information about plantations before and after Emancipation.
Anna likes to teach with primary sources from the place and period in question, for example, artifacts from a plantation slave quarter, or newspapers published in 1920s Chicago. She shows students how to discover new information for themselves, then place that discovery in the larger framework of existing knowledge and theories. Anna has enjoyed trying to teach herself Norwegian over the past year and thinks that it has taught her some valuable lessons about language, how we think, and the learning process more generally.