#SF2: The South Paper Session
Trans Voices of the South
Coastal Carolina University, United States of America
This presentation will showcase the process, discussions and products of a student-centered project on transgender voices of the rural Carolinas. Emerging from a publishing lab at a regional university, the Trans Voices of the South project (tentatively titled), highlights gender expression in the American South(s). This multimedia project aims to redefine communities and encourage empathy to the voices it highlights as a starting place to change policies, and to disrupt the monolith of trans identity and southern politics present within popular discourse.
The products of this year-long project, to be launched in early summer 2019, will be a multimedia project that combines print and digital mediums to highlight the voices and experiences of trans individuals. We will discuss the publishing lab (now in its 7th year) and the application of collaborative design to this project. We will describe the lab's process and its previous projects, from museum exhibitions to CDs, and what this experiential learning opportunity offers students, faculty and local community members.
This presentation will look at how physical and digital interfaces can both translate and inhabit trans spaces, focusing on the micro-performances of expressing gender in southern locations. We will showcase excerpts from the final project while investigating questions such as: How do you engage community members in critical making around political and contemporary topics? What are the lines between general readership and trans theories and bodies? How can we combine stories of location and resources for trans individuals? How can we inhabit the spaces of silence in thinking about gender expression in the South?
We will end with recommendations and points of collaboration for the project and larger digital publishing lab at a public liberal arts.
Telling Hampton's Stories: Design and Production of Virtual Hampton's Spatial Vignettes
Coastal Carolina University, United States of America
This paper discusses the development of spatialized multimedia content for Virtual Hampton, an immersive virtual landscape exploration platform for historic Hampton Plantation, one of a complex of well-known rice plantations along the South Santee River and now a South Carolina State Park and Historic Site. As a case study, Hampton Plantation offers unique opportunities to implement an immersive virtual landscape. Hampton Plantation was part of a complex of well-known rice plantations along the South Santee River. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Hampton was a prime example of plantation culture and the plantation economy in South Carolina. Because the plantation remained in private family ownership for over 200 years and was then acquired by the State of South Carolina, its cultural landscapes have not been impacted by modern development and still retain readily identifiable features from past activities, such as the remnants of dikes and water control features in the former rice fields. In addition, recent archaeological work in the undisturbed areas of the former slave village are yielding new clues to that portion of Hampton’s past cultural landscape which can be illuminated through the virtual reconstructions. The completed first-phase prototype of the immersive landscape platform was developed in the Unity3D development environment, and includes the virtual recreation of the early 19th-century topography, plantation structures and rice fields, as well as proof-of-concept examples of embedded media content that provides historical, cultural, and physical geographic information about select features within the recreated landscape.
The second phase of the project has built on this prototype and focuses on the development of the spatial narrative elements that present the intertwined stories of the people who lived and worked at Hampton Plantation and the natural and cultural landscape they inhabited. Through design workshops and early testing, project staff and stakeholders have developed an organizational structure for the narrative content of Virtual Hampton that consists of short, themed multimedia spatial stories that are being termed “spatial vignettes.” These vignettes will enhance a user’s explorative experience with the historical, archaeological, ethnographic, and other scholarly information that guide our knowledge of Hampton’s past cultural landscapes. The development of the first spatial vignettes is being completed through a close collaboration with Coastal Carolina University’s Athenaeum Press, which is a student-driven publishing lab that offers students the opportunity to gain unique, professional-level experience in developing and producing innovative digital stories. This presentation will detail the design and production of these first vignettes and provide a live demonstration of the Virtual Hampton platform with the spatial vignettes embedded in the virtual landscape.
Harlem in Lynchburg: Anne Spencer's House and Garden Project
University of Virginia, United States of America
One of the few museums dedicated to an African American woman is the Lynchburg residence of the Harlem Renaissance poet Anne Spencer (1882-1975), a gem of vernacular architecture and garden design. University of Virginia holds the Spencer papers; Virginia Humanities hosts a virtual tour; and the Scholars’ Lab is launching digital enhancements of the site’s resources and history, in order to increase educational and public access and interest in Spencer’s archive and “salon” (as in Revolutionary France). Key visitors to the site include W.E.B. du Bois, James Weldon Johnson, and Langston Hughes as well as the pygmy Ota Benga, a subject of racist research who was sent to Virginia Theological Seminary. The house is associated with the founding of the local NAACP. Spencer’s few published poems should be complemented by her unpublished writings and her arrangements and graffiti in the house, studio, and garden. This paper considers the context of Virginia’s racist history, much in the current news, and addresses the risk of appropriating historically Black archives and institutions, while it features potential R1 university collaboration with a family-owned heritage site. The Scholars’ Lab’s project, a pilot before applying for grants, draws upon Alison Booth’s 2016 monograph on literary house museums in the UK and US, and applies varied tools to samples of materials. One approach is textual: based on the curator’s, Spencer biographer’s, and UVA faculty expertise, students and the public can participate in digitizing and annotating selections from the archive, as in recent community events to transcribe the papers of Julian Bond. Another approach unites mapping, network analysis, and timelines: a Neatline project, When Harlem Came to Lynchburg, will feature snippet text (poems, letters), itineraries, and portrait-profiles of guests and regulars at the house, 1920-1940. In addition, using digital approaches to spatial data and modeling, we can amplify the museum's educational outreach, to attract more school visits and scholarly interest, and to make educational materials available at a distance from Lynchburg. VR/AR experts in Scholars’ Lab will work with Booth and curator Shaun Spencer Hester to augment the existing virtual tour of the Spencer site with audio and images or text (e.g. explaining the portrait of the poet's white grandfather in one of the bedrooms). This AR tour will also help document and preserve the data of the current design and display of rooms, objects, and garden as well as the family memories of the curator. Artifacts in the museum will be modeled and 3D printed so that visitors can handle them without harming them, or so that they can be seen in the round online or printed for school study. This talk will offer an example of reflective intersectional DH that tries to bridge gaps between advanced research using the latest technology, historic preservation, and shared learning about an African American women poet and a phase of cosmopolitan culture in a Jim Crow town.