This animation, built on data compiled by academic historians, shows 20,528 slave ship voyages over 315 years. The accompanying text was written by my colleague Jamelle Bouie. The piece found a large audience online and was a finalist in the National Magazine Awards. It has been displayed at the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, UCLA’s Fowler Museum, the museum at James Madison’s home in Montpelier, the National Museum of Denmark, and the Amsterdam Museum, and is included in the 2016 edition of The Best American Infographics.
In the century and a half since Hermann Melville penned his tale of a clerk who would “prefer not to,” readers have not shirked from decoding it. Is Bartleby protesting capitalism, as Marxist interpretations suggest? Is there a homoerotic subtext, as I do? I distilled the history and scholarship of “Bartleby,” along with my own musings, into this set of annotations, and programmed the interface. My interactive, annotated edition has been taught in classrooms and examined as a case study in experimental pedagogy. I discussed it on this episode of Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast.
This piece, an interactive calculator, asks how many people you’ve slept with, then tells you if that’s a lot. Users are compared to survey respondents from the General Social Survey. The accompanying text, by my colleague Jordan Weissmann, provides context, analysis, and a measure of dignity.