November 17, 2017


The SlackWater Center

SlackWater Center

The SlackWater Center at St. Mary’s College of Maryland dates to 1998. Created and developed by former Professor of English Andrea Hammer, SlackWater grew out of the Southern Maryland Documentation Project, an oral history project started by Hammer in 1984. Today, the Center is a consortium of students, faculty, and community members focused on documenting and interpreting the region’s changing landscapes. While oral histories remain at the core of what the Center does, students also explore the region’s landscapes through historical documents, images, literature, and scientific and environmental evidence. Some of this work is published in our print journal, SlackWater, and some of it is published here online.

The name, SlackWater, comes from a word used by watermen in the region to describe the stillness right before the tide changes. “Slackwater is when the tide is changing from one to another,” fisherman Neal Robrecht told us–that moment of calm before the tide reverses course.

The SlackWater Center aims to provide students at St. Mary’s with meaningful research experiences that make full use of the College’s historical and geographical location. The Center encourages cross-disciplinary collaboration and, most importantly, public outreach and debate.

Our website banner is an image of the Thomas Johnson Bridge taken on the eve of its completion in 1977. This photograph represents an important moment in the region’s late 20th-century history, capturing the beauty, optimism, and promise of an area that only recently had been one of the state’s poorest jurisdictions.

SlackWater Center postings are sponsored by supporters: Raleys Home Furnishings, Lynn Erwin, Tri-County Abstract, Jack Russell, and Century 21 New Millennium.

 

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