Friday, October 19, 2007
Segregated Seattle: "For most of its history Seattle was a segregated city, as committed to white supremacy as any location in America . . . This special section presents research that will surprise many Pacific Northwesterners. "
Segregated Seattle is part of The University of Washington's Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project. Created and maintained in part by students and members of the community, it is both a valuable historical resource and a nice example of collaborative teaching and community outreach using digital technology. The student Research Reports are quite good--see for example Nicole Grant's "Challenging Sexism at City Light: The Electrical Trades Trainee Program" and Heather McKimmie's "Quileute Independent and Quileute Chieftain, 1908-1910." The rich site also contains short films and slideshows, Activist Oral Histories, and a page where you can browse the site by time period or topic. There is much more--take a look!
I am going to begin teaching my seminars and perhaps select upper-level courses this way. The trick will be to come up with the website and some basic templates before the course begins. I tried something like this last year, adopting the ideas in Michael Lewis' 2004 Environmental History article "Reflections: 'This Class Will Write a Book': An Experiment in Environmental History Pedagogy" to my own environmental history class. It was a mixed success--the course was small (5 students) and lacked the critical mass to develop much momentum. I am teaching Introduction to Local History in the spring and will try again.