Writing, Blogging, and Website Editing?

All in a day’s work.

So we’re using Dreamweaver to bring our prototype to life, and it’s a bit tricky for the non-techies that we are. Luckily, we have the assistance of David Moseley and the Faculty Center for Teaching with Technology to help out. Mindful of our own personal ignorance, Shannon had the idea that we would write a Process Paper of sorts to assist the uninitiated. 

Well, for me, the Process Paper was something new. I did a little research about them, and they all seemed to tell about how you go about conducting your research–nice but not really what I need. Even so, I started writing one, and got a wonderful paragraph from David about Dreamweaver (since even after using it for two weeks, it’s still largely beyond me), and his help in getting the steps right.

I’ve attached a few pics to show what I mean, but more information about the process and its accompanying paper will be coming in another post soon.


Taking “A Clear Channel” on the Road!

Friday, September 21, 2012, at the Florida Writing Symposium at University of Central Florida, Shannon Carter presented “A Clear Channel” as part of her keynote presentation, “Why We Write: How Ordinary Citizens (Can) Change the World.”

RRT featured at Chronicle of Higher Education!

I was at a workshop at the Florida Writing Symposium (University of Central Florida) when my phone vibrated with a new text. “We’ve made the Chronicle of Higher Education for our blog,!” Kelly told us. I could feel the excitement all the way from Texas. We did, indeed, “make the Chronicle,” as one of ProfHacker’s “Weekend Reading” Editions. Nice! The downside of this exited sharing is the places it catches you–me, in conversation about rhetoric and civic engagement with participants at Stacey Pigg and Blake Scott‘s fabulous workshop in Florida, the rest of the team at or on their way to the Digital Frontiers conference at the University of North Texas. We promise we were paying attention. Just sometimes sharing is vital! –Shannon Carter

Creativity is essential: By Adam Sparks

When I joined Remixing Rural Texas this past summer, I was given creative freedom on day one.  Dr. Carter, and the team, allowed me to have freedom piecing “A Clear Channel” together.  I was then able to create a video that I saw would encompass the emotions that were prevalent nationally and locally.  By doing this, we were able to create a prototype that gave the viewer a product that informed along with expressing emotion.  The emotional aspect of the events is essential to understand and study the issue in its entirety.

Watching the video, of course someone on the outside would not understand what was going through the minds of Joe Tave, Belford Page, John Carlos, or other local leaders without tying in the national emotion of the time, along with the local emotion.  Creativity in the video allowed us to tell the story more clearly.  One example of this was an idea that I had to use of the three gunshots just after the video of the JFK motorcade, along with the gunshots later on in the video.  Three shots were fired at President John F. Kennedy.  With the pictures of the Civil Rights Movement during each shot, we were able to express the emotional impact that the African American society felt, as hope was shattered by gunfire.  Later on in the video, the three gunshots abruptly erupt and stuns the peaceful music playing prior to it.  The three pictures are of the most infamous Civil Rights leaders of the 1960s (MLK, Malcolm X, and RFK) who were assassinated after JFK.

Creativity persists throughout the video from transitions, song choices, pans and zooms, along with locational choices of images and videos.  The art behind this video is only successful if it tells the story.  With that, the emotions have to be expressed, and we must look at the subject from different vantage points.  The national story of the 1960s was both tragic and renewing, violent and peaceful.  Those tensions occurred in all parts of the nation, along with ETSU.  By looking at the local story, along with the national story, one is able to fully understand the national impact on the local.  There are millions upon millions of local stories out there that need to be heard, and beg for attention… yet all too often we generalize and attempt to just focus on the big picture without giving credence to the foundation of that big picture.  Looking at local history builds that foundation.

My contributions was incorporating my background as a former Radio/Television student.  With my Bachelors in Radio/Television and earning a Masters in History, I feel that I fit in this project well.  To create a well rounded story, and a well rounded study, it is essential to work with various departments and backgrounds to find truth.  Even in building a video, I am not the only one who had input on the creative aspects of the video.  The collaboration of this project is what will allow Remixing Rural Texas to thrive.


Adam Sparks

A place in time

One of my duties includes developing the timeline for the prototype. The timeline (along with its trusty friend, the map), we feel, is important because it allows us to situate ourselves and our viewers in a certain time and place, essential for understanding the issues of race, racism, and race relations in the United States.

While I’m pretty certain about the dates I feel we desperately have to include—you can’t talk about racism on a college campus without putting blacks on that previously all-white campus, so of course we need Sweatt v. Painter and the year 1950, to prove that if southern state governments did not provide equal college educations to black and white students, then they could not provide separate college educations to black and white students. We also need Brown v. Board of Education and 1954, which eradicated de jure racial segregation in the form of separate public schooling to black and white students. While these dates are easy to draw upon, others might be less obvious to the casual observer. Of course February 21, 1965, must be included because it’s the date of Malcolm X’s assassination, but what about including April 3, 1964, when he reached out to fellow black activists and indicated his hope that, despite their religious differences, they could work together to effect change.

All of these dates tell a story. I work to define what story we need to tell, and therefore, which dates are included or excluded in our timeline. As I work, I know that I am not portraying the entire story—such a thing is impossible—but our hope is that from this one, tiny story of this one point in the whole of human existence, many stories, other stories, different stories, will flow.

Telling the story, however, has been the challenge. First we toyed with the idea of just having dates and words, but that does not really fit with the techy savvyness (new word, I know) of what we’re trying to do. Then we talked about hyperlinks to pre-made webpages, but that was dismissed as not techy enough, too. We heard wondrous things about Timeline, but, unfortunately, it does not lend itself to how we need the timelines to function. Neatline fascinates me in a weird, nerdy, OCDish (another new word) kind of way, but David (our media techy savvy man) has just suggested Prezi. I have seen Prezis, but am looking forward to some hardcore training on them (just as soon as a master Dreamweaver). We shall see what path our timeline takes, but whatever path it is, we know it will be awesome (because we are awesome).

Kelly Dent

The Afro-American Student Society of East Texas in 1968: Locating the “Stuff” and the “Stories” in the Literacy Scene

A new article by Shannon Carter and Kelly Dent was completed this summer that outlines the thesis and purpose of the most recent remix video produced by Dr. Carter and her team of four research assistants. The article could be viewed as a companion piece to the remix as it directly outlines each segment of the remix and thoroughly examines the notion of how the digital humanities can be used as a tool to generate interest and writing historiographies in “under-resourced, under-studied areas (like rural Northeast Texas) among historically marginalized populations (like African American students and citizens).”

 Focusing on the literacy scenarios that surrounded the formation of ASSET and its Declaration of Rights, Carter and Dent focus on the manner in which digital media is able to link people across space and time to generate “literate social action”.

 It is this passion for activism that has fueled Dr. Carter’s work for the past several years. A rhetorician whose focus on rural activism, social justice and racism, specifically race relations during the 1960’s and the effect that local activism had in direct relation to national and global discourses surrounding the Civil Rights Movement, Carter’s work links the digital humanities with activism using remix technology.

 As the research for this project continues, the stories of what really happened continues to unfold. As mentioned in the article, upon the initial screening of “A Clear Channel”, there were at least two more people who came out with their own stories of what happened at TAMUC during those turbulent years of the Civil Rights Movement. Louis Margot and Glenda McKissic will share their Oral Histories with the team in the next few weeks.