4 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. they supposed that the governing considerations should be the healthiness of the site, the fertility of the neighbouring country, and it’s centrality to the white population of the whole state

      This sentence illustrates the criteria taken into consideration when the founders were choosing the site of the university. The reason this is interesting to me is that theses criteria clearly reflects the social context at that time, which is so different from what we have now. The change and difference between social contexts are emphasized in my engagement sessions, Extinction in Art and Literature. One of the important take home messages is the fact that different cultures can perceive the same concept differently during different time periods. This is exactly what is reflected in this sentence, and this whole piece of document. The things that people value 200 years ago are totally based on the social norms, the level of technology available, etc.. For example, the fact that fertility of neighboring country exists as a criterion shows that the society then is far more agrarian than ours today, and that the transportation is not as developed. It is always interesting to see these little differences that symbolizes the huge social change throughout the centuries when reading historical documents.

    2. his Slaves amounting to 57 in number

      The amount of slaves are put in juxtaposition with the acres of land and all the other properties that the university owned at that time. However, the slaves have played vital roles in the establishment and operation of the university. The labor and service they provided to the university are all ignored in this report, but I'm glad that UVa is doing something to improve the situation. Last month there was a campus historical trip which I went with my hall mates. It was a very enlightening tour that started this year. Led by a fourth year guide, we visited the West Range and the gardens around the Pavilions, where the slaves who built the schools used to live. We also visited the memorial for the slaves that built the university, carved on a dark metal that lies on the floor on one side of the corridor near Rotunda. The memorial was very hard for passers-by to notice, and I felt really hard to imagine the living environment of the enslaved people hundreds of years ago just by looking at the beautifully decorated gardens today, where nice trees and lawn makes it a great place for parties. I am really glad to hear, at the end of the trip, that the university is going to set up a larger memorial statue on Grounds for the enslaved people that exerted significant impact on the establishment and operation of the university centuries ago, and I believe we should definitely do more to make students remember their contributions. The tour I took and the memorial is only the first steps.

  2. Oct 2017
    1. It was the degree of centrality to the white population of the state which alone then constituted the important point of comparison between these places: and the board, after full enquiry & impartial & mature consideration, are of opinion that the central point of the white population of the state is nearer to the central college, than to either Lexington or Staunton by great & important differences, and all other circumstances of the place in general being favorable to it as a position for an University, they do report the central college in Albemarle to be a convenient & proper part of the State for the University of Virginia.

      In this sentence listed the main reason to choose the central college in Albemarle as the "convenient and proper" site for the university, which is the degree of centrality to the white population of the state. The word proper catches my attention in two ways. First, it shows that the people choosing the location of the university have never taken into account the education of the population other than white, male, and probably land-owned people. Ignoring is the worst kind of discrimination. When people started to debate over the unfair treatment between ethnicity, gender, race, or any other causes of unequality, at least it means that they are taken by the public into consideration. However, in this sentence, the population other than white people are totally ignored, reflecting the serious discrimination at the time. Second, proper is a very subjective and ambiguous word. The repetition of this word in this report, for example the proper choice of location, and the proper breadth of the lawn, leaves a lot of space for personal interpretation of what proper exactly stand for. This also remind me of one of my Engagement classes, in which we talked about the history of Eugenics. The proponents of this theory also used a really ambiguous word "unfit", to describe the people who they think should be sterillized. But who decides what's "unfit"? And who decides what's "proper"? The final interpretation was left to people in charge of the university, who were White males, and who believe that people with similar traits as they do should receive the college education.

    2. Thos. Wilson Phil. Slaughter Wm. H. Cabell

      These are really familiar last names, and I would assume that Wilson Hall, Slaughter Center, and Old/New Cabell Hall are named after these people who founded the university. I really wouldn't have known this information without reading this report to the end. I believe our University should really provide us with more information of the history of UVa: no matter how positive or negative the history is, we current students need to know. This really reminds me of a reseach I did before one of my Engagment classes. The advocacy of Eugenics was a big part of our University's history and Pinn Hall, a building in the medical school, was previously named after Harvey Jordan, a Eugenics researcher and former Dean of the Department of Medicine. However, the university decided to rename the Hall into Pinn Hall recently. Indeed the new name enbodies the spirit of the school better than the old one, but the Student needs to know about the unknown part of the history behind the change of the name. Just simply changing the name of a hall cannot and should not erase the fact that the university has once supported a pseudoscience, and we need to face, and at lease try to preserve our history. http://www.cavalierdaily.com/article/2017/02/uva-school-of-medicine-looking-ahead-from-eugenics-roots http://exhibits.hsl.virginia.edu/eugenics/2-origins/