During the 2023 Keystone Digital Humanities Conference at Johns Hopkins University, scholars from the Center for Mason Legacies (CML) presented papers on Friday 16 June 2023 to scores of scholars and practitioners in the field of digital humanities. Three presentations were presented at a panel titled "Using Digital Public History to Uncover Black Lives Next Door." These presentations highlighted the collaborative experience and methods developed by the CML team thanks to a Catalyst Grant awarded by LYRASIS in 2022-2023 that enabled them to carry out their innovative project. In a presentation based on her research, Ph.D. student Jayme Kurland discussed the importance of spatially reading slave sales sites. She focused on the Fairfax County Court House as a site of Black precarity and commodification. As a result of her research, Kurland positioned period newspapers as a "textual auction block" that should be systematically investigated to better understand their historical importance. In the second presentation, titled "Collaborating with Students to Uncover Hidden Histories of Northern Virginia," Dr. Wendi Manuel Scott and Dr. George Oberle discussed their experience with a set of pedagogical strategies they referred to as "Affective Historical Practice," a justice-centered method of teaching that fuses several teaching practices with Black feminist methodologies. Using these methods, students in the Spring 2023 course created several remarkable digital stories that are available online to the public. In her presentation entitled "Using Omeka S as a Tool for Pedagogy and Digital Scholarship", Dr. Alyssa Fahringer showed the wide range of content produced by CML students over the past few years. During Fahringer's research, she showed how Omeka Classic and Omeka-S are flexible content management tools that are effective for teaching and promoting reparative scholarship.
June 19, 2023