Intersectionality in the American South

Funded through Support by the Mellon Foundation

field study

Drs. Tiffany A. Player and Ras Michael Brown: Gullah/Geechee Field School – History, Legacy, and Service at Georgia State University

Drs. Tiffany A. Player and Ras Michael Brown, esteemed members of the Intersectionality in the American South, have been instrumental in the faculty Field School experience focused on the Gullah Geechee communities of South Carolina and Georgia.

Gullah/Geechee Field School Overview:

The Gullah/Geechee Field School, hosted by Georgia State University, is a unique and immersive educational experience that combines rigorous study with active engagement. This distinctive program encompasses two separate on-site residencies: the first on St. Helena Island, South Carolina, from May 18 to May 21, and the second on Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia, from May 23 to May 26.

Scholarship Meets Service:

The Gullah/Geechee Field School stands out by emphasizing the interplay between scholarship and service. While scholarly research has often focused on the observation and analysis of Gullah/Geechee communities, their locales, and their rich cultures, this program recognizes the critical importance of contributing to the ongoing vitality of these communities. It does so by engaging in both short-term and long-term service efforts.

Heritage Preservation and Cultural Resource Protection:

One of the central themes of the Field School is heritage preservation and the protection of historical and cultural resources from both physical destruction and narrative erasure. Students are provided with a hands-on opportunity to explore significant African American sites in both rural and urban settings.

Learning at the Penn Center National Historic Landmark District:

The heart of the educational experience takes place at the Penn Center National Historic Landmark District. Here, students gain a deep understanding of why these communities and landscapes are integral to historical knowledge and contemporary concerns regarding the relationships between people and their natural and built environments.

Culmination in Community Service:

In the culminating activity of the course, students express what they have learned and experienced through active participation in the ongoing efforts to restore and maintain one of the cemeteries on Daufuskie Island. This hands-on service element underscores the Field School’s commitment to making a meaningful and lasting impact on these vital communities.

The Gullah/Geechee Field School at Georgia State University is not only an educational journey but also a testament to the power of scholarship and service in preserving the history, legacy, and cultural richness of the Gullah Geechee communities in the American South. For more information, please contact Dr. Tiffany A. Player at or Dr. Ras Michael Brown at


bgoluguri1 • October 24, 2023

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