In my Fall 2014 Theory and Practice of Digital Humanities course with Dr. Susanna Lee, I collaborated with a team to write a digital history about various avenues of empowerment for different races, classes, and genders within NC State’s agricultural programs. Our overall exhibit is “Agricultural Empowerment in Academics, Research, and Extension,” and my section is “Diversifying the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences”.
The class’ final presentation is featured on NCSU Libraries page under “Graduate Students Interpret the “State of History” at NC State,” written by Gwynn Thayer.
Here is an excerpt of the article, discussing the challenges we faced uncovering NC State’s history through university sources. My greatest challenge was uncovering the voices of the students, because the majority of the College (School) of Agriculture and Life Science’s preserved documents are administrative. This is a good lesson in the power of the archives – often many voices are silenced, and we must dig to uncover!
“A number of the students acknowledged that one of the most difficult tasks that they faced was digging through the primary source materials in order to find the voices and testimonies of those who participated in specific historic events. As graduate student Josie Titus discovered, it was difficult to find documentation that reflected the voices of the workers when she tried to research the history of African-American university employees. Likewise, graduate student Rebecca Lowe found that it was a challenge to uncover the voices of students who were enrolled in the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences (SALS) from the 1960s to 1980s. As the students grappled with these problems, they learned to understand what is and what is not preserved in the historical record – and why.”