HILL New Orleans Cluster Seminar (Fall 2022) Syllabus

(FALL 2022)

Dr. Espelencia Baptiste, ANSO426
Office: ULC 301
Office Hours: M. 1:00-3:00 W. 9:30-11:00
(and by appointment)

Dr. Christine Hahn, ARTX225
Office: LFA 20
Office Hours: MW 11:00am-11:45am
(and by appointment)

Dr. Shanna Salinas, ENGL490
Office: Humphrey House 108
Office Hours: Th, 2:15-4:00pm
(and by appointment)

Dr. Beau Bothwell, SEMN295/MUSC295
Office: FAB 128
Office Hours: M11am-12pm, W10-11am, Th4-5pm
(and by appointment)

Dr. Bruce Mills, HILL Digital Humanities Coordinator
Office: Humphrey House 208
Office Hours: M 1:15-2:15pm; TTh 3-4pm (and by appointment)

Seminar Cohort Meetings: Mondays, 11:05am-11:45am (Weeks 5-10)
Location: Hicks Banquet Hall West
Additional meetings TBA

Course Description

What is memory? What is identity? And how do we understand the relationship between these two concepts, particularly for communities once defined as commodities? Research suggests the significance of origins in the formation of individual and collective identity. However, for the African Diaspora, heritage, roots, and associated memory are traversed by trauma and displacement engendered by slavery, the middle passage, and contemporary structural oppressions. This course explores the different labors that slavery and the memory of slavery perform in the development of New Orleans as a city and the relationship between its composite populations.

This course participates in the Mellon-funded Humanities Integrated Locational Learning (HILL) curriculum and contributes to a “Beyond Kalamazoo” Cluster focused on New Orleans with three other courses: ARTX225 Public Art and Its Publics (Dr. Christine Hahn), ENGL490: NOLA Divided: Race in the Big Easy (Dr. Shanna Salinas), and SEMN295/MUSC295 The World Through New Orleans (Dr. Beau Bothwell). While these courses will function independently, they are united by their engagement with New Orleans as a historical and contemporary site, as well as the way they draw from humanistic inquiry to construct justice-based notions of land, place, and belonging in response to humanistic concerns and social inequities (i.e., systemic racism, body and border policing, economic inequity, global warming, etc.). Students registered for the New Orleans cluster courses are eligible to apply for a partial-unit experiential social justice research seminar in New Orleans (November 26th – December 2nd, 2022).  More details on the seminar and application process are included on page 9 of the syllabus.

Course Requirements

Participation in the New Orleans Cluster Seminar will require the following mandatory commitments:

  • Additional preparatory work throughout the term to prepare for site engagements in New Orleans. See Cluster Seminar Assignments and Due Dates (detailed below)
  • Weekly meetings with the supradisciplinary research group (held weeks 5-10 on Mondays during common time)
  • Attendance of information sessions with community partners (TBA, when applicable)
  • Meetings with the HILL Digital Humanities Coordinator, Dr. Bruce Mills
  • Submission of pre-departure materials to CIP, due 7th week Thursday.
  • Attendance at a CIP orientation meeting, 10th week Wednesday (4:15pm DE 305)
  • Write and submit a supradisciplinary collaborative group project research proposal (Due week 9 Friday by 11:59pm ET)
  • Research group interview for DH site (due Winter 2023)
  • Individual reflection (blog or video) focused on course, research, place-based learning for Digital Humanities site (due Winter 2023)
  • Supradisciplinary collaborative group research project (due first week Wednesday in Winter quarter, with revision and approval in consultation with cluster faculty and DH Coordinator finalized 2nd week Friday.)

Cluster Seminar Assignments and Due Dates

Journal Entries


Fridays by 11:59pm ET
(uploaded to your Research Group channel on Teams. Please make sure your Teams notifications are turned on for this channel as announcements and important information will be disseminated through your Research Group channel.)

Supradisciplinary Collaborative Group Project Proposal


Week 9 Friday, 11/11 by 11:59pm ET *
(uploaded to your Research Group channel onTeams)

*Assignment prompt distributed in Week 8

Supradisciplinary Collaborative Group Project

Completed Project Due

Wednesday, January 4, 2023 by noon ET
(to your Research Group channel on Teams)

Revised Project with Bibliography/Resource List Due

Friday, January 13 by 11:59pm ET
(to your Research Group channel on Teams)

Individual Reflection for DH site


Winter 2023, TBA*

*Assignment prompt distributed in Week 8

Research group interview for DH site


Winter 2023, TBA

Course Grading (C/NC)

All assignments must be completed and submitted in accordance with the deadlines in the weekly assignment schedule in order to receive credit for this course. Successful completion of a DH supradisciplinary collaborative project is dependent on guided development during Fall quarter and contributions from all members of the research group. Being accountable to those deadlines and your group members will be paramount. Assessment of the DH supradisciplinary project will be undertaken by the cluster faculty in consultation with the DH coordinator to determine whether the project is ready for publication on the HILL Digital Humanities Hub. Should the cluster faculty and DH Coordinator determine that the project is not ready for publication, students will still receive credit for the course provided they have completed all required assignments to the satisfaction of their project supervisor.

Cluster Seminar Cohort Meetings and Events

The Cluster Seminar Cohort meetings during weeks 5-10 of Fall Quarter are designed to introduce students to different research modalities in advance of the seminar trip and to assist in the design of a Digital Humanities project that encapsulates each respective research group’s interests in New Orleans.

Week 5: Meet research group and discuss intersections within their research interests

Week 6: Digital Humanities presentation and brainstorming DH options (Bruce Mills)

Week 7: IRB presentation and brainstorming about collaborative DH project (Brittany Liu)

Week 8: Project proposal workshop and site visit itinerary

Thursday, November 3, 7pm: Dr. Lauron Kehrer, author of the forthcoming Queer Voices in Hip Hop: Cultures, Community, and Contemporary Performance, will give a talk drawing from her chapter on New Orleans and Bounce music. Location TBA

Week 9: Place-based engagement overview, with emphasis on ethical collaboration best practices and brainstorming about engagement with community partners (Alison Geist)

Wednesday, November 9, 9:40am: Monica Kelly, Founder and Executive Director for People for Public Art, will give a talk on issues related to contemporary muralism on Zoom. Link TBA.

Week 10: Archival research presentation (Historic New Orleans Collection and/or Tulane University)

Weekly Assignment Schedule (Fall 2022)

Week 5

Advanced preparation: Submit a passage from a text in your course that informs your research interests

Session Focus: Meet with research group and supervisor; share individual research interests and grounding in course texts; discuss intersections and similarities within/across courses

Week 6

Advanced Preparation: Review two Digital Humanities Websites:

Session Focus: Overview of digital humanities (Dr. Bruce Mills)

Assignment: Individual 2-page reflective journal entry, “Brainstorming the Digital Humanities”: What different types of Digital Humanities projects are you contemplating? How/why would these DH approaches serve/represent your research interests and social issue you’ve identified?) This reflective essay will be shared with your cluster group as you work together to find areas of crossover interest for your group research project.

Due: Friday, October 21 by 11:59pm ET (uploaded to your Research Group channel on Teams)

Week 7

Advanced Preparation: Review Institutional Review Board website and take the IRB test

Session Focus: Overview of IRB and research with human subjects (Dr. Brittany Liu) Meet in OU408

Assignment: Individual 2-page reflective journal entry, “Brainstorming the Collaborative DH Project”: Review your group members’ reflective brainstorming entries from week 6. What intersections do you note? Are there synchronicities in subject matter/topic across the reflections that can be consolidated? Are there overlaps in DH approaches that can be combined? What type of collaborative project could be created from these various imaginings?

Due: Friday, October 28 by11:59pm ET (uploaded to your Research Group channel on Teams)

Week 8

Advanced Preparation: Read “Brainstorming the Collaborative DH Project” entries from your research group

Session Focus: Discuss Collaborative DH Project ideas with your research group and consider relevant site visits useful to/for your research beyond our established community partners (tours, museums, locations, etc.)

Assignment: Collaborative 2-page in-progress DH Project idea(s) and site visit itinerary proposal.

Due: Friday, November 4 by 11:59pm ET (uploaded to your Research Group channel on Teams)

Week 9

Advanced Preparation: TBA

Session Focus: Place-based learning and community engagement (Alison Geist)

Assignment: Project Proposal

Due: Friday, November 11 by 11:59pm ET (uploaded to your Research Group channel on Teams)

Week 10

Advanced Preparation: Read feedback from project supervisor (cluster faculty member assigned to your research group)

Session Focus: Archival research (Historic New Orleans Collection or Tulane)

Assignment: Meet with Bruce Mills about your DH project and refine/revise project proposal that considers feedback from him, your project supervisor, and potential archive use.

Due: Friday, November 18 by 11:59pm ET (uploaded to your Research Group channel on Teams)

Finals Week

Advanced Preparation: Read or watch the supplemental materials provided for the two community partners whose work is most central to your DH project.

Assignment: Each group member should submit two substantive questions for each of those community partners.

Due: Friday, November 25 by 11:59pm ET (uploaded to your Research Group channel on Teams)

Weekly Assignment Schedule (Winter 2023)

Week 1

Completed project due: Wednesday, January 4, 2023 by noon ET
(uploaded to your Research Group channel on Teams)

Week 2

Revised Project with Bibliography/Resource List due: Friday, January 13 by 11:59pm ET
(uploaded to your Research Group channel on Teams)

Supradisciplinary Collaborative Research Groups

Group One

Student 1 (ANSO426)
Student 2 (ANSO426)
Student 3 (ENGL490)
Student 4 (MUSC295)

Research Interests: Music/Jazz; slavery; transcendence; Black body; Medicine/Medical experimentation; natural disaster/Katrina; neoliberal policy; capitalism; anti-Black racism; place/displacement; language; colonization

Supervisor: Dr. Beau Bothwell

Group Two

Student 5 (ANSO426)
Student 6 (ARTX225)
Student 7 (ENGL490)
Student 8 (MUSC295)

Research interests: Jazz; music as history; transcendence; Found/Outsider art; Decentering Western canon; art activism; legacies of enslavement; intersectional social justice activism; memorialization; performance and/as resistance; ritual; performance/tourism consumption

Supervisor: Dr. Christine Hahn

Group Three

Student 9 (ANSO426)
Student 10 (ANSO426)
Student 11 (ARTX225)
Student 12 (ENGL490)
Student 13 (MUSC295)

Research interests: mutual aid; community development; survival; Katrina; environmental racism; history as process; Confederate monuments/memorials; anti-racist/anti-colonial public art; community storytelling as resistance; history of place and displacement; redlining; infrastructural; Jewish history in NOLA; Jewish/Black historical relations; burial/death rites; intercultural history

Supervisor: Dr. Shanna Salinas

Group Four

Student 14 (ANSO426)
Student 15 (ANSO426)
Student 16 (ARTX225)
Student 17 (ENGL490)
Student 18 (MUSC295)

Research interests: Africanisms; Vodou/Hoodoo; African spirituality; slavery; vodou as resistance; community as resistance; voodoo influence on architecture; public rituals; art/music/dance; landscape and identity formation; struggle for power and influence on landscape; Black experience of space/place; vodou and spaces of practice as formative for Black expression/creation/maintenance; spirituality and community; vodou/spirituality and changes across time/space; music and space

Supervisor: Dr. Espelencia Baptiste