Dark Laboratory, a “humanities incubator” for digital storytelling with a special focus on Black and Indigenous voices, launched its first podcast episode, a crossover with the podcast “Get Free” by laboratory co-founder Tao Leigh Goffe, on Oct. 26.
The debut episode narrates a drive around Cayuga Lake with Dark Laboratory co-founders Goffe, assistant professor of Africana Studies and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies; and Jeffrey Palmer, assistant professor of Performing and Media Arts, both in the College of Arts and Sciences.
“In a speculative mode, we discuss thousands of years of Cayuga life and the landscape of abolition in upstate New York, from the Underground Railroad to Seneca Falls to enslaved burial grounds to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge to Harriet Tubman’s house in Auburn, New York,” Goffe said in the episode trailer.
The first episode visits three points around the perimeter of Cayuga Lake related to the history of indigenous people:
- the farmlands south of Aurora, on the eastern shore;
- signage marking an Indigenous village near Aurora known as Peach Town, or Chonodote, which was destroyed by the American army in 1779; and
- Cayuga Castle, the site of a major village of the Cayuga Nation and the nearby Indian burial mound.
In the episode, Goffe and Palmer discuss local histories fraught with racial violence and tension and how colonial language present on historical markers erected by New York State only tells one side of the story, the victor’s.
– Kate Blackwood