In the late 1950s, the City of Cincinnati slated the southern half of a neighborhood known at the West End for urban renewal and highway construction, ultimately displacing over 25,000 predominantly African American citizens. This neighborhood, currently known as “Queensgate,” is facing another wave of displacement through encroaching gentrification and the construction of the FCC stadium in what the developers are now rebranding OTR-West.
This course uses an object-based oral history approach called the History Harvest, a community-based, student-driven, collaborative digital archive. The Harvest is a one-day event in which people bring their objects of significance and tell the story of the artifact. As the founders of the History Harvest state, “It is […] the shared experience of giving that is at the heart of the History Harvest concept.” There is no acquisition, and unlike Antiques Roadshow, everything is valuable.
Photograph courtesy of the Cincinnati Museum Center History Library and Archives
Upon the successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
History classes are about the past, but they can inform your future. You can leverage many of the skills you gain in the course to your future careers both in and out of the historical discipline. Skills gained through the study of history include (but are not limited to):
|Read & Prepare for Class
Where is the West End?
What is a History Harvest?
Guest: Anne Delano Steinert
History of Highway Construction
History Harvest Mechanics
READ Avila, Folklore of the Freeway, Introduction, (p. 1-16)
READ Avila, Folklore of the Freeway, Chapter 1, (p. 17-52)
QN Quote Notes #1 (Avila)
Gender & Politics
Digital Community Engagement
READ Avila, Folklore of the Freeway, Chapter 2, (p. 53-88)
READ Rebecca S. Wingo and William G. Thomas III, "Building Communities, Reconciling Histories: Can We Make a More Honest History?" in The Oxford Handbook of Digital Public History, edited by Serge Noiret and Mark Tebeau (Berlin: De Gruyter Press, 2021) [PDF on BB]
QN Quote Notes #2 (Avila)
Guest: Eric R. Jackson
African Americans in Cincinnati
QN Quote Notes #3 (Fullilove & Fried)
Guest: Elease North
History & Memory
READ Avila, Folklore of the Freeway, Chapter 3, (p. 89-118)
QN Quote Notes #4 (Avila)
Film September 25: Berlin, Sinfonie der Grosstadt (Ruttman, 1927)
Family Stories Family Object Interview
DO 3:30 - 5:00: Distribute Flyers
Guest: Scott Gampfer, Associate VP for Collections and Preservation
Film October 9: Paris (Klapisch, 2008)
DO Bring and object from home!
DO Bring final drafts of all forms & protocols
Film October 16: Pruitt-Igoe Myth (Freidrichs, 2012)
Last minute prep
READ Avila, Folklore of the Freeway, Chapter 4, (p. 119-148)
QN Quote Notes #5 (Avila)
Film October 23: Swagger (Olivier Babinet, 2016)
City Links, 8:30am - 4:00pm
Film October 30: Do The Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)
READ Cherstin Lyon, et al, Introduction to Public History, Chapter 5, 83-111. [PDF on BB]
EXHIBIT Bring at least one exhibit idea
Film November 6: Truman Show (Weir, 1998)
EXHIBIT Outline of Exhibit
EXHIBIT Exhibit Draft #1
Film November 20: Detropia (Ewing, Grady, 2012)
Guest: Peg Fox & Alexis Kidd?
EXHIBIT Exhibit Draft #2
READ Avila, Folklore of the Freeway, Chapter 5, (p. 149-180)
EXHIBIT Final Exhibits Uploaded to Omeka
4:00pm - 6:00pm
Exhibit Presentations to Community
|Component (click on labels for assignment overviews)
|Points per Assignment
|Number of Assignments
|Quote Notes This assignment helps you develop note-taking skills to better comprehend class readings, help jog your memory in class discussions, find quotable quotes to cite and reference in class and your writing, and connect class readings to your own experiences and ideas. Each assignment requires you to identify two quotations. The first demonstrates your mastery of the material by selecting a quote that is emblematic / summative of the author(s)’s central argument or main point. The second is a quote that surprised you or interested you in a new way, and why.
|Family Stories To practice for the History Harvest, you will digitize one of your family heirlooms and interview one of your family members about the artifact. Objects can tell rich histories, and it's your job to come up with questions to access those stories. Students will write a brief summary of the importance of the object, reflect on the process of interviewing, and present their findings in class. If you cannot locate a family member, please speak with one of the professors individually.
|Final Exhibits Your final project is a web-based exhibit formed from objects digitized through the History Harvest. These will be completed in active collaboration with your classmates. Each group will develop exhibit ideas, outlines, and drafts for discussion and review in class. Groups will present their final projects to interested community members in lieu of a final exam. Project components will be due throughout the semester, adding up to 30 points.
|Films This class is affiliated with two other courses in DAAP and Film Studies through the UC Forward program. Dr. Conrad Kickert will screen and discuss a film about urban planning and design. You must watch two of these and write a 200-400 word blog entry about your reaction to the film and discussion. For each of the films you view, you are also required to write one response to students in the other classes.
|Attendance Attendance and participation in this course are mandatory both inside and outside of the classroom. Your grade includes participation in class activities such as community outreach & advertising, the metadata-thon, the upload-a-thon, and active peer-review. You are required to attend and participate in the History Harvest on Saturday, October 26th.
Letter Grades are comprised of points earned.
|59 or less
Late work will not be accepted. Assignments submitted late will automatically receive no credit/zero points. Exceptions to this policy may occur in very rare cases (e.g. personal emergency or severe medical situations). These cases must be documented to my satisfaction and you must contact me before the due date.
Shit Happens Clause
Once per semester, you may invoke the Shit Happens Clause. This clause grants you a three-day extension on your assignment with no questions asked. However, you can not use this clause on your final project deadline or any group work. To invoke the clause, email one of us before the assignment is due, letting us know you are using it.
You may earn up to 6pts of extra credit by attending local public history exhibits or lectures. Each event is worth 2pts, provided you show proof of attendance and write a one-page summary of your main takeaways.
Courtesy & Respect
My goal is for us to create a constructive learning environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas and participating regularly. Therefore, I expect you to come on time and stay for the entire class period, listen attentively while others are speaking, and respect opinions other than your own. I encourage discussion and healthy disagreements, so long as the disagreements are factual, constructive, and free from harassment. Unprofessional or disrespectful conduct will result in an absence for the day. Please contact me if you feel unsafe or have suggestions for improving the classroom environment.
During this course you may encounter a range of topics to which you may experience strong reactions. It is important to keep an open mind and be respectful of others, as this will help to facilitate the discussion about content, audience, and purpose. If you feel uncomfortable with certain materials (such as references to violence or sex), please let me know and we can make accommodations or discuss other learning opportunities.
Name and Gender Identity
I am provided a class roster with students’ legal names. I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or your preferred gender pronoun. Please let me know your preference early in the semester. Please be aware that this will not affect your official university records, but I can help you with that process if you'd like.
Laptops & Mobile Devices
Please feel free to use any device that makes your participation in class discussions easier. It is expected that students of this class will use technology during class to take notes, experiment / work (during appropriate class times), refer to digital readings, show examples, etc. It is also expected that these technologies will not be used during class for purposes outside the scope of the class, including instant messaging (including with classmates), e-mail, social media (outside of the use as examples to particular arguments), etc. Please do not leave your cell phones on audible ring, and barring emergencies, do not take or make phone calls during class. The right to use such technologies in the classroom may be revoked at any time by the professor. Additionally, tech-free or screens-down classes will be employed throughout the semester during which time no technology may be used in the class. Headphones are prohibited from this classroom unless a student requires them for accomodations and has documentation.
On all social media accounts used in this course (blogs, Twitter, etc.), students are expected to uphold professional standards that meet university and professional codes of conduct. No bullying or disrespect will be tolerated. If you are experiencing any problems, please let me know and we will work together to resolve the issue.
A student who is discovered plagiarizing on any assignment will automatically receive a grade of zero (0) for that assignment and the assignment cannot be redone to obtain a different grade on the plagiarized assignment. A student who has been found guilty of plagiarizing shall not be allowed to withdraw from the course unless the student withdraws with a semester grade of "F." A second incidence of plagiarism will result in automatic failure of the course. For further details on the issue of academic misconduct, including plagiarism, see the Student Code of Conduct available on the UC website.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Students desiring a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act must contact the instructor immediately to discuss their needs. Failure to notify the instructor in a timely manner of the need for a reasonable accommodation may hinder the college’s ability to assist students in successfully completing the course.
UC / A&S students, who, because of their sincerely held religious beliefs, are unable to attend classes, take examinations, participate in grade activities, or submit graded assignments on particular days shall, without penalty, be excused from such classes and be given a meaningful opportunity to make up such examinations and graded activities or assignments provided that advance written notice of their absence is given to faculty members during the first two weeks of the semester.
Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of your actual or perceived sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Title IX also covers sexual violence, dating or domestic violence, and stalking. If you disclose a Title IX issue to me, I am required forward that information to the Title IX Office. They will follow up with you about how the University can take steps to address the impact on you and the community and make you aware of your rights and resources. Their priority is to make sure you are safe and successful here. You are not required to talk with the Title IX Office. If you would like to make a report of sex or gender-based discrimination, harassment or violence, or if you would like to know more about your rights and resources on campus, you can consult the website or contact the office at 556-3349.
Clifton Campus Students have access to counseling and mental health care through the University Health Services (UHS), which can provide both psychotherapy and psychiatric services. In addition, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) can provide professional counseling upon request; students may receive five free counseling sessions through CAPS without insurance. Students are encouraged to seek assistance for anxiety, depression, trauma / assault, adjustment to college life, interpersonal / relational difficulty, sexuality, family conflict, grief and loss, disordered eating and body image, alcohol and substance abuse, anger management, identity development and issues related to diversity, concerns associated with sexual orientation and spirituality concerns, as well as any other issue of concerns. After hours, students may call UHS at 513-556-2564 or CAPS Cares at 513-556-0648. For urgent physician consultation after-hours students may call 513-584-7777.
Parenting should not restrict your access to class. If there is an emergency that causes an immediate change to your child care plans for that day, you are invited to bring your child to class. Please be prepared to step out with your child if needed.
If you have any questions or concerns throughout the semester, please see or call me immediately. I am here to help you learn, but it is your responsibility to address any issues you have concerning course content, assignments, and classroom dynamics. Do not risk your grade; if you are having problems, please come and talk me before it is too late.
This syllabus will serve as our guide throughout the semester, but may change, particularly as we identity digital skills we would like to pursue throughout the semester. I will alert you to any major changes made.
Acknowledgments & License
This syllabus has been developed in active collaboration with Lindsey Passenger-Wieck. It also borrows ideas from other history classes, including those taught by Leisl Carr Childers, Jason Heppler, Denise D. Meringolo, and Amanda Hill.
This syllabus and all assignments are copyrighted © 2019 Rebecca S. Wingo and licensed CC-Non-Commercial BY 4.0. You are free to use or modify this syllabus for any non-commercial purpose, provided that you attribute it to the author, preferably at the course website listed above.