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About the project

Our Point of View

The history of Seabrook Farms is largely forgotten in New Jersey. Our state's residents rarely think about where their food comes from, who grows it, and what costs are associated with its production. In this story, production comes at the cost of civil liberties, self-determination, and racial equality. Given the relevance of these issues today, we want to remind people that the forced choice between security and rights can create unanticipated, complicated consequences.

Invisible Restraints: Life and Labor at Seabrook Farms is an online exhibition curated by undergraduate and graduate students in the fall 2015 Rutgers University course, "Public Histories of Detention and Mass Incarceration," which was cross listed between American Studies, Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies, and History, and taught by Professor Andy Urban.

The course also curated a panel focusing on Seabrook Farms for the Humanities Action Lab's national, traveling exhibition, "States of Incarceration." (The online version of the traveling exhibition and supplemental materials can be found at The Humanities Action Lab, or HAL, is a collaboration of 20 universities seeking to "foster new public dialogue on contested, deadlocked social issues, through public humanities projects that explore the diverse local histories and current realities of shared global concerns." More information on HAL can be found here:

Members of the class who contributed to the curation of the exhibit include:


Sabah Abbasi

Janna Aladdin

Amy Clark

Niall Conway

Sonya Dalton

Austen-Leigh De Pinto

Michael Denis

Morgan Dodds

Glenna Gray

Karenjot Kaur

Katerina Lydon

Dmitri Orlov

Emma Pallarino

Phil Ripperger

Hangrui Wan

Erin Weinman

class photo
Students in "Public Histories of Detention and Mass Incarceration," Fall 2015.

Andy Urban served as Co-Project Manager on the exhibit, and oversaw the drafting and editing of the final exhibit text.

Sabah Abbasi and Amy Clark served as undergraduate student workers on this project during the spring 2016, editing text, ordering items to be displayed, securing permissions, and arranging for the accession of high-resolution images.

Kayo Denda served as Co-Project Manager on this exhibit.

Rhonda Marker supervised metadata creation for this exhibit, conducted workshops with students, and oversaw their work in this area.

Dana Eckstein worked as a graduate assistant on this exhibit, managing and editing metadata.

Sam McDonald served as the programmer on this exhibit.

Mary Ann Koruth designed the visual layout of the exhibit.

Isaiah Beard supervised the acquisition and accession of high resolution images for this exhibit.

Dana Eckstein worked as a graduate assistant on this exhibit, managing and editing metadata.

Fernanda Perrone and Flora Boros coordinated the use of the Consumer League of New Jersey records for this exhibition.

Chad Mills designed the code that this exhibit uses.

Samantha Boardman worked as a research assistant, and identified and acquired archival sources used in this project.

Finally, we would also like to thank Beverly Bradway and the Seabrook Educational and Cultural Center, Bill Creech, Matthew DiBiase, Francesca Giannetti and the Rutgers Digital Humanities Initiative, Nicole Heater, Linda Langschied, Lou Masur, A. Naomi Paik, Bernadette Perez, Greg Robinson, Archer St. Clair Harvey, James Swenson, and Janet Urban.

- Andy Urban, Spring 2016