Check out my recap of the HASTAC conference in November.
This recap of the DLCL workshop give you the highlights of the innovative project.
I was lucky enough to receive a grant for the Associated Colleges of the South for Digital Literacy and Collaborative Learning workshop. I designed the workshop with Scot French. While the workshop was in August, you can experience many of the ideas via the social narrative we put together. Look for #DLCL hashtag on social media.
What is the relationship between urban and imaginary? This is a question defining my thinking right now. One way to consider this in relation to how people are writing about these concepts. Google Ngram makes it possible to look at the relationship between these words in the works scanned by Google Books. What is the relationship these graphs suggest? It should not be a surprise that the word urban and imaginary seem to overlap in British and American English in the late 1960s is not a surprise. By the late 1960s, many people were imagining new visions for cities. The contour of this process was evident in planning, architecture, and literature. In all those academics and creative were writing about new forms and powerful transformations that were possible and needed. The spike in the early 1900s and then in 1940s in British English also corresponds to bigger questions of transformation and destruction in the United Kingdom. Nothing is shocking, but perhaps this visualization is a to spark conversation.
American English, 1800-2000
British English, 1800-2000
I've run through a gauntlet of activities from the end of October until mid-November. The Society for American City and Regional Planning History's 17th National Conference on Planning History was October 26th-29th in Cleveland. I was co-chair of the planning committee for the conference. I presented on Hannibal Square's history but also was part of the Plenary (opening conference panel) that celebrated the 20th anniversary of Planning the Twentieth Century American City.
Like many graduate students, I was deeply affected by this book. Celebrating it as part of the conference seem obvious, but the plenary came together in an amazing way. I actually did not put myself on the plenary, Mary Sies asked me to participate. Thinking about how my understanding of the history of planning has played out, I very much used that knowledge in community engagement context. Projects like Rethinking the City, which is community conversation co-curate with professionals in planning, arts, and enterprise. We come to the idea of RTC with the intention of promoting dialogue to enhance the city. I ended up using a recent discussion about Parramore to talk about how questions of race and community continue to shape our collective perception of the planning process. Of course, much of my community work is about documenting black experience in generative digital projects that give spotlight hidden narrative. Key to my approach is to understand how historians can document, preserve, and present history across a variety of platform. A project with student researchers that contextualize a local process within the broader histographical argument can be helpful to foster understanding and support dialogue that empowers community members. The challenge is to move that activity from teaching to research category. While I saw the co-chairing process as a way to bring vital conversations about identity, place, technology, and politics to the center of the conference in a way that recognizes how actors beyond academia can benefit from engagement with scholars, it also reminded me that ultimately that work has to be modeled by people. I'm one of those people.