The House That Story Built: The Place of Slavery in Plantation Museum Narratives

Perry Carter, David L. Butler, Derek H. Alderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


This article examines the characteristics and opinions of tourists visiting Laura Plantation Museum in southern Louisiana, paying close attention to their interest in slavery relative to other narrative themes presented at the site. Laura is noted for its “big house” as well as its remaining slave quarters, but museums are built as much around narratives as they are around artifacts. Museums tell a story that they hope audiences will want to consume. Envisioned as an audience study, this research examines data gathered from surveys and interviews conducted at Laura and uses the conceptual framework of “narrativized worlds” to gain an understanding of how visitors, especially African Americans, interpret and react to the representation of antebellum life offered by the museum's managers and docents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-557
Number of pages11
JournalProfessional Geographer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • American South
  • narrative
  • plantation
  • slavery
  • tourism


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