History as Death and Living Ghosts: The Mislaid Memories of Saint Katherine Drexel

Berlisha Morton


This essay challenges how modernist conceptions of traditional historical research methods have restricted Saint Katharine Drexel’s narrative from interrogation and dialogue about how religion, race, gender, region, and class can intersect to create educational opportunity.  Using microhistorical analysis, this research reconsiders definitions of identity, religion, and place in the South and specifically New Orleans in the early twentieth century.  By deeply exploring Drexel’s experiences in the founding of Xavier University in New Orleans through a micro lens, the author welcomes the presence of living ghosts who can provide valuable information about how to persevere through social, racial, and economic unrest to work for social justice. 

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