Race and Place

Arthur Ashe Monument Avenue.jpgProfessor Melina Patterson’s course blog for Geography 331, “Race and Place in America,” has framed and examined some really fascinating issues in contemporary culture over the past 15 weeks. In particular, the course has traced the intersection of issues of race, urban development, and gentrification.

Earlier this semester the students watched and discussed a 2003 documentary titled Flag Wars, which chronicles the gentrification of an historically black neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio by and influx of Gay and Lesbian residents. It sounds fascinating to me, and I am dying to see it—nothing like the power of being open to get a good movie recommendation!

And more recently a student in the course, Wesley Weeks, included a series of images of the statues on Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA, which provides a complex and powerful juxtaposition of race and place more locally. Click on the image of Arthur Ashe above to view these images.
It’s amazing to watch a class unfold that is so squarely situated within the issues and questions that define the cultural and geographic space within which we live.

Jefferson Davis statue on Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA

Robert E Lee Statue, Monument Ave, Richmond, VA Photographic Print by MaryAnn & Bryan Hemphill

Arthur Ashe

UMW Blogs Escape Plan

If you are a UMW Blogs blogger and are getting ready to graduate or otherwise leave the University of Mary Washington there are a couple of things you should know about the options for taking your work with you.

1) The work you have done on UMW Blogs will not be deleted. It will remain up and online for as long as this service remains. If you want to keep your work on UMW Blogs that is fine, and as an added bonus you can even map your own domain so that you can truly personalize the site beyond the myblog.umwblogs.org URL. Read more about this option here.

2) If you want to export your work and upload it somewhere else (like your own hosted wordpress account, WordPress.com, Blogger, etc.) you can use these directions. Keep in mind you would need to export each of your blogs individually if you have more than one.

3) Finally, if you want to get rid of your work on UMW Blogs, you have full control over that. Just login to UMW Blogs and head to the Settings tab and click on the Delete Blog subtab and follow the directions. Keep in mind that if you had several different blogs you would need to do this for each blog.

If you have any questions about any of this please feel free to  email us using the contact form.

Webcomics: New Horizons for Graphic Narrative

This semester, I asked the students in my Graphic Novel Class to collaborate on designing, producing, and publishing their own webcomics, after first working on a collectively authored book on webcomics. Working in small groups, they used standalone WordPress installations running ComicPress to create their comic sites, and each group used networks like Twitter and Facebook to spread the word.

Webcomics Collage

Overall, they produced some great work, and I encourage you to take a look at it! Their material is variously hip, silly, meta, absurd, erudite and eclectic, and more often than not, they’re pretty dang funny.

Check them out:
“Left of Reason”
“Tuffer and Willie”
“Marion’s Knight”
“The Adventures of Kyle and Steve”
“In Libris”
“The Dropsies”

Eco Club’s Award-Winning Site

UWM’s Eco Club has recently won the “Outstanding Website” award in the Office of Student Activities and Community Services (OSACS) award ceremony. You can see their site here, and notice how they are using all sorts of loosely joined tools like Google Calendars and Flickr to make their site more user friendly, elegant, and simple. Congratulations is in order, especially since it’s Earth Day, and kudos to Justine Rothbart who was an early pioneer of imagining UMW Blogs as a space for student club and organization sites—a reality which has exploded this year. She put a lot of work into this site, and I’m glad she has gotten her club some well-deserved recognition. For some other excellent club sites on UMW Blogs check out the Film Club and the WMWC Radio Station‘s sites.

2009 Kemp Symposium

Image of ELC's Kemp Symposium Site
Every year the English, Linguistics, and Communication department hosts the Kemp Symposium, a two day conference that gives ELC students the opportunity to share their research with the UMW community. The event is hosted in Combs Hall and starts today at 10:00 am (Monday, April 20th). If you have a chance, be sure to drop by and check out some of the presentations over the next two days. You can see the conference site here and the full program here.