This course introduces students to collaborative humanities projects that encourage democratic participation among publics more broadly conceived than the academy.
The first half of the course provides an introduction to the modes of inquiry and methods through which marginalized communities become partners in research and not simply objects of study. We investigate the promises and pitfalls of collaborative research.
The second half of this seminar explores several case studies, focusing on projects that enable historically marginalized populations to frame research questions, project design, and interpretation. Through “collaborative ethnography,” storytelling, walking tours, and historical reenactment, these projects aim to empower and generate social change. Throughout the course, students are introduced to interdisciplinary methods of research, including oral history and performance ethnography, and are trained to use audio editing software and other digital resources.