Meet Our Panelists: Slavery in Greater New York

Chaired by Dr. Jennifer Anderson (Stony Brook University), this panel examines the lives of enslaved people in New York, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley. Past scholarship has primarily focused on the seaport of lower Manhattan and the labor routines that developed around an urban environment. This panel casts a larger net, inserting the Hudson Valley plantations and the slaveholders of Long Island into this dialogue of slavery in the North.

Jennifer Anderson: Panel Chair

Jennifer Anderson, Associate Professor of History at Stony Brook University (SUNY), specializes in Early American and Caribbean History. She has a PhD from NYU and an MA
from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture. She is the author of Mahogany: The Costs of Luxury in Early America (Harvard Univ. Press, 2012), which explores how consumer demand for tropical hardwoods, harvested by enslaved Africans, transformed 18 th -century social
and environmental relations in the Atlantic region. Her fellowships and awards include the ACLS Fellowship, the Early American Studies’ Murrin Prize, the Society of American Historians’ Nevins Prize, a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship, and an Emmy nomination for research for “Traces of the Trade,” a documentary about the Northern slave trade. She has worked as a curator, researcher, exhibition developer, and consultant at over a dozen museums.

Sylvea Hollis: Panelist

Sylvea Hollis is an Assistant Professor in African American History at Montgomery College. She earned a Ph.D. in US History from the University of Iowa. Before coming to Montgomery College, Dr. Hollis was the inaugural National Park Service-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Gender and Sexuality, and she taught in the American Studies Department at The George Washington University. Hollis earned a MA in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program (SUNY-Oneonta) and has a BS in History from the University of Montevallo, a small public liberal arts institution in Alabama.  Much of her interests in the history of slavery in New York, developed while conducting research for her master’s thesis on African Americans in Cooperstown, New York.  Hollis’ public humanities work seeks to bridge the gap between historical research, archive methods, and teaching. She regularly posts about all three on her blog: .

Lauren Brincat: Panelist

Lauren Brincat is the curator of Preservation Long Island, a regional organization with a mission to celebrate and preserve Long Island’s diverse cultural and architectural heritage through advocacy, education, and stewardship of historic sites and collections. Lauren has worked in New York museums and historical societies for over two decades, specializing in exhibition and program development, historic house interpretation, and collections management. She is currently the co-president of the Long Island Museum Association and a member of the museum advisory committee of the Bowne House Historical Society in Flushing, Queens. She previously held positions at the New-York Historical Society and the Museum of the City of New York. Lauren’s current curatorial work emphasizes community and institutional collaboration across the region with initiatives such as the Jupiter Hammon Project and the Art of Edward Lange Project. Lauren holds a B.A. in History and Anthropology from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. from the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program in American Material Culture.

Lavada Nahon: Panelist

Lavada Nahon is the Interpreter of African American History for NYS OPRHP-Bureau of Historic Sites; and a culinary historian focused on the 17 th – 19 th centuries, mid-Atlantic region, with an emphasis on the work of enslaved cooks in the homes of the elite class. She is also a generalist in New York African American history 19 th through 20 th century. She has 20 plus years of public history experience working with a variety of historic sites, societies, and museums across the
tri-state region. Lavada has developed educational programs, after-school programs, lectures and tours, period presentations, and historic dinners for sites ranging from the New York
Historical Society, Albany Institute of Art and History, Fraunces Tavern, Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, Johnson Hall, many more. She worked as a museum associate and educator for Historic Hudson Valley for twelve years at Van Cortlandt Manor and Philipsburg Manor Upper Mills, and as a production coordinator on their special events team for three. Her mission is to bring history to life by giving presence to the Africans and people of African descent enslaved and free in the New Netherland/New York in whatever way possible