Judith Kelleher Schafer, 72, a historian of slavery and prostitution, dies

Historians in the News
tags: obituary, Judith Kelleher Schafer



Judith Kelleher Schafer, a Tulane University historian whose academic specialties included studies of slavery and prostitution, died Tuesday (Dec. 16) at Touro Infirmary. She was 72.

The cause of death has not been determined, said her husband, Timothy G. Schafer.

Dr. Schafer, who earned a doctorate in history at Tulane, described what she did as "street history," said Margaret Keenan, a Tulane colleague. "She was looking at people that historians haven't always looked at -- slaves, prostitutes -- but who left records."

Dr. Schafer mined court archives for material that went into her three books and into her lectures, and she never ceased to marvel at what she found.

"She was a New Orleans historian and just absolutely fascinated by the archives," Keenan said. "She brought everything the knew from the archives to her students, and they loved her for it."




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