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Thursday, May 28 • 10:20am - 11:35am
The Georgia Virtual History Project: A New Way of Seeing the Past

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The Georgia Virtual History Project (GVHP) is an effort to use new and interactive technologies to record the history of Georgia and make it available to multiple audiences, from eighth-graders to college students, the general public and academic professionals. It is both a website and a mobile platform that allows participants to access mini-documentaries, historical resources, and tourism-related information at multiple locations across the state. 

GVHP was designed to promote, build, and draw together place-specific scholarship by faculty and students at universities and high schools, as well as archival resources of multiple institutions, and the local knowledge of various communities, from across Georgia. Our goal is to create a system whereby students in countless communities can help build their own virtual records of their local past. The data compiled by these students will then be filtered up through their faculty advisors, then through the final filter of content-specific professionals (at the Ph.D. level) on behalf of the GVHP. This will ensure not only that GVHP is a broad-based, statewide community effort in its construction, but also that the content contained within will hold up to the most rigorous academic standards.

GVHP is both an independent nonprofit organization and a project closely affiliated with UGA’s Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.. GVHP is also one of the foundational building blocks for what will become the Willson Center Lab for Digital Humanities at the University of Georgia.

The session we propose for HASTAC 2015 will be made up of an introduction to GVHP and three presentations by faculty members at the heart of the project, each including a related five-minute mini-presentation by the very best of their students. Each faculty member will speak about their fields of expertise within the project, focusing specifically on conference themes of the changing nature of humanities research, technology and education, and mobile technology, community development, and the creation of new spaces for new voices. 

Beyond exploring GVHP as a broad suggestion for what a viable DH project might be, we will make a case study of how faculty and students at various institutions have explored one specific topic and contributed to a unified set of outcomes. Christopher Lawton will discuss GVHP and UGA’s attempts to build a DH center, while his student Laura Nelson will explain their research into slave life in Georgia. Randy Reid will discuss the creation of a GVHP-connected class at Athens Academy, a private high school, and his student Fleming Smith will explain how she and her fellow students have been reconstructing the lives of a few individuals enslaved in antebellum Athens. Jon Deen will discuss the creation of a GVHP-connected class at Putnam County High School, one which works closely with both Christopher Lawton and Dr. Reid’s class at Athens Academy, and his student Saachi Shastri will explain how she and her fellow students have connected specific slaves to Putnam County-native Joel Chandler Harris’ Uncle Remus tales and the 20th-century Civil Rights struggle as depicted in the writings of native daughter Alice Walker. Finally, TJ Kopcha will discuss GVHP as an effort to use mobile technology to connect scholars, students, communities, and archives into a powerful tool for education, research, and tourism.

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avatar for Donnie Sendelbach

Donnie Sendelbach

Director of Instructional and Learning Services/Information Technology Associates Program, DePauw University
Donnie Sendelbach is the Director of Instructional and Learning Services, which provides instructional technology support for faculty and students at DePauw University. She also served at the Director of the Information Technology Associates Program. Previously, she supported instructional... Read More →

Thursday May 28, 2015 10:20am - 11:35am EDT
Room 103 Kellogg Center

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