Rob Sieczkiewicz, Edward Slavishak, Marie Wagner, Rachel Baer, and Amber Peretin (Susquehanna University)
In this work-in-progress session, Susquehanna University faculty, students and staff will explore how a new campus-wide Omeka program transformed a Pennsylvania history course. The faculty member will discuss the origins of the project as an exercise to change students’ perception of local history as a quaint and pleasant pursuit lacking a critical edge by highlighting the role of violence in threatening or supporting imperial power relations. He will also explore the implications of changing the course’s final project from an offline exhibit presented to a hypothetical public to an online exhibition that students present to community members. The students will discuss how their research and interpretive skills are shaped by encountering community members who live in the spaces they are researching and sharing their work online. The University’s instructional technologist and digital scholarship librarian will discuss creating a sustainable digital exhibition program that includes effective Omeka training and support.
Team members will seek attendees’ thoughts and ideas on next steps for the project, such as incorporating community feedback into the repository and making connections with heritage tourism. If there is time and interest, the team and audience will also discuss collaboration with area high school students working on National History Day projects.