Racial Geography Tour
Edmund T. Gordon, Department Chair/Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies/Vice Provost for Diversity
For nearly 17 years, the Racial Geography Tour of The University of Texas at Austin, led by Dr. Gordon, has provided students, faculty, and visitors with a guided opportunity to examine the historic origins of the buildings, landmarks, and spaces of the University’s campus. This experience invites the public to come to grips with the historical and present racial realities of the University and the city of Austin.
The Media Production Grant will help Dr. Gordon and AADS create an on-line platform to offer a virtual version of the Racial Geography Tour. This interactive and immersive website will creates for viewers an experience of the tour through 360º video, 2D video, still imagery, and voice-over audio. Each landmark on the walking tour will be identified on a virtual map of campus and will be accompanied by interactive and informative displays, animations, videos, photos and audio. Viewers will have the opportunity to engage with the campus as if they were on the walking tour and access supplemental media files, as well as historical imagery. The website will also have a questionnaire section. Survey data from the website will be joined with data collected during campus tours in order to assess the tour’s efficacy as a pedagogical tool in this capacity. The online tool will not only expand the access and reach of this particular educational experience, but will also cultivate new pedagogical methods.
Sexing History, co-founded by Lauren Gutterman and Gillian Frank in the fall of 2017, is a podcast about the ways the history of sexuality shapes our present. By connecting listeners with captivating stories about the American past, Sexing History aims to foster intelligent conversations about the history of sexuality and its urgent importance to contemporary politics. The episodes explain how our current culture came to its present state, what is unprecedented about our current moment (and what isn’t), and offer nuance and context for contemporary sexual politics. The first five episodes are available on the website and address the history of gay youth activism, the anti-abortion movement, the beauty industry, interfaith marriage debates, and evangelical marriage manuals.
The Media Project Grant will support production of Sexing History’s second season. The eight episodes in this season will cover topics such as the AB101 riots which broke out in California in 1991 after Governor Pete Wilson vetoed a bill to provide gays and lesbians protection from job discrimination; the history of the nation’s first sperm banks and their connection to animal husbandry; the emergence of the contraceptive industry in the 1930s which grew despite selling ineffective and dangerous products; the 1975 publication of Susan Brownmiller’s controversial and paradigm-shifting book Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape; the evolution of computer dating; the history of gay conversion therapy; and a long-lived lesbian marriage in early America. An episode created in collaboration with the Queer Newark Oral History Project is already in the works, and will utilize original interviews from their collection to document the 2003 murder of black, “AG” or butch teen Sakia Gunn.
Ancient Drama for the 21st Century Reader
Michael Mignanelli, PhD student, Classics
Ancient Drama for the 21st Century Reader will create a user-friendly reading interface for reading ancient drama using a digital scenario platform with Virtual Reality (VR) capabilities. The project will allow The user will digitally enter an ancient theater by using either VR goggles or any digital device and will then use scenario-synched and chatmapping technology to to view and read the lines of an ancient play while also viewing avatars representing each of the characters performing simple stage movements. The two plays being selected for this project are Euripides’ Medea and Aristophanes’ Frogs, which are among the most commonly read plays both in high schools and colleges.
The Media Production Grant will help with software and equipment costs to build the VR experience for these two plays.
Scenes from Shakespeare at Winedale
John Rumrich, Professor, English
Scenes from Shakespeare at Winedale seeks to extend the reach of the Shakespeare at Winedale program by making it a vehicle for teaching materials aimed at secondary and college classrooms. Select scenes from performances at Winedale will be videotaped, and then text will be integrated using an interface of the team’s design. The scenes will be published on a website that will also provide annotations and pedagogically oriented commentary.
The Media Production Grant will help provide staff, equipment, and software for production of the videos, the interface, and the website.