During my time at Brown, I have learned that Providence is a city of stories. These stories range from historical accounts hidden in the archives to the regular, every-day moments shared with family and friends.
(Distributed October 30, 2014)
Calling Future Public Humanists: Application For Admission Now Open!
At the end of the July, Deputy Director, Anne Valk will be leaving Brown and the Center for Public Humanities for Williams College, where she will be leading public humanities initiatives through a multi-disciplinary appointment. Annie has shaped the Brown Center in the most profound ways. Outgoing director, Steve Lubar hired Annie seven years ago and he vividly remembers a quality Annie mentioned during her interview: “I am a collaborator. I believe in collaboration.”
Since 2012, a group of undergraduate and graduate students from Brown have joined teams from 14 other universities as well as hundreds who served, lived, and were held at GTMO in a process of unearthing and exploring its hidden histories.
The result is the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, an internationally traveling exhibit of surprising stories, images, and documents from before 9-11 and after, as well as dialogues on why GTMO's past matters today. We are thrilled to be hosting the exhibit in Providence from September 2 – 30, 2014.
Background “Oral History and Community Memory,” co-taught by Anne Valk and Holly Ewald, teaches both theory and practice. Students research the history of an area, interviewing people who spent time there. And then they use the archive of interviews to teach others, creating interactive exhibits and tours that reveal Providence’s history and spaces through the stories of those who lived here.
"The area is not there for me to remember . . . It's almost like losing one of your peers."
June Simmons-McRae spoke in reverent tones of her childhood neighborhood of West Elmwood during a recent oral history interview. Once a vibrant neighborhood, West Elmwood was demolished in the early 1960s as part of Providence’s urban renewal movement. The Huntington Industrial Park was built in its place. Today, the neighborhood only lives on in the memories of former residents and the bonds that many friends still share.
Mapping Arts Project: Providence maps the city by locating the black artists who worked in the city. It combines digital technology, university archives, and community partnerships to make historical knowledge accessible and interesting.
Keila Davis: Presenting at the Mapping Arts Event on April 16.