Exemplary Project: Jao

In this iteration of our RH Pamphlet Collection, 2021 Exemplary Project Grant recipient Charline Jao (Literatures in English) reflects on the creation of her digital humanities website mapping the Free Produce movement, a project she developed during the 2021 Spring Seminar on Rural Black Lives.

Click to read the essay booklet online!

The Free Produce movement was an international mass boycott in the late 18th to mid-19th centuries of goods produced from the labor of enslaved people. On her digital humanities websiteNo Stain of Tears and Blood, Jao maps the location of Free Produce stores in cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, Rochester, and Cincinatti. She also includes archival materials of poetry, advertisements, and artwork related to Free Produce that illustrate its influence.

In her research on the movement, Jao uncovered a fascinating geographical and interpersonal network of abolitionist organizers including often-overlooked participants: women and children.

"While the plan was always to make the website available to the public, I also wanted to think about how this history may enhance current discussions of food justice, ethical consumerism, commodification, racial justice, and more."


Read more in "'No Stain of Tears and Blood': On Curating the Free Labor Movement" embedded below:

Funded by the initiative, Exemplary Project Grants showcase Cornell student projects and collaborations from the Spring Seminar, specifically those works in the in public and digital humanities.

Charline Jao is a PhD student in the Cornell Department of Literatures in English. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century print culture and speculative fiction.

< Read more student essays!

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