British Literary Student Timeline

This website is designed for and populated by undergraduate students taking survey courses in British Literature. Students are responsible for writing short texts situating the literary works which they are studying in the time period in which these works were created. These student-generated blurbs appear on a digital timeline to enable users of this website to achieve an understanding of British literary texts in the context of the historical and literary cultures surrounding their original production. This project will continue to grow with each new iteration of students taking EN205 with Geoffrey Emerson, enabling peer-to-peer learning from semester to semester.

ARH 373: The Small Treasures Project

In conjunction with the exhibition Small Treasures: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and their Contemporaries, on view at the Birmingham Museum of Art (BMA) from January 31- April 26, 2015, students enrolled in ARH 373 (Dr. Tanja Jones, Northern Baroque Art) at the University of Alabama are conducting research dedicated to the paintings in the exhibition. This project represents an opportunity for students to gain exposure to original works of art produced in Flanders and the United Provinces in the seventeenth century. It is part of an effort to enhance experiential learning beyond the walls of the lecture hall and involves tours of the exhibition facilitated by BMA curators and staff, research in University libraries, and the sharing of research findings via this website, designed by faculty and staff in the Alabama Digital Humanities Center (ADHC).

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Ancient Art

The ancient world was as interconnected and complex as our own. Over the millennia, new cultures and dynasties arose, expanded, and waned, affecting not only their regions of origin but the other civilizations and cultures with which they were in contact. Cultures traded, invaded, conquered, learned and appropriated from, rejected and embraced one another, and the materials, literature, art, religion, politics, and traditions of various ancient centers often resonate with traces of these forms of contact and conversation.   In Dr. April Jehan Morris’s ARH 000 course, her students explored various ancient cultures and their contact with and influence on one another. By examining the societies around and beyond the Mediterranean holistically, the class captured a view of what Polybius’ called “an organic whole” in which interconnection and innovation both played definitive roles in shaping the art, architecture, and cultural fabric of ancient societies.

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Alabama Architecture

Alabama Architecture is a descriptive digital database about historical buildings and structures in Alabama, from both the Tuscaloosa area and further afield. It was created by Art History students taking course ARH 376 led by Professor Rachel Stephens, who worked in partnership with the ADHC to enable her class to create an online resource which could be added to each year by future iterations of the course. Gradually the aim is to harness the power of service learning so that students can make lasting intellectual contributions visible not only to their peers and local academic community, but also the international audience of the World Wide Web.

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It is easier than ever to disseminate words and ideas expressed through the human voice. And of course, it is common practice in the literature classroom for teachers to read texts aloud and to ask students to do the same. However, there is little conversation in English departments about the skill it takes to read such literature aloud or about how the voice can influence our perspectives on literature. The UA Voxology seeks to address this gap, to begin to teach the voice in the literature classroom by compiling an audio anthology of local voices reading from classic American and British literature and by encouraging students and community members to contribute to that anthology. We envision an interactive hub for such content, similar to Pandora or Spotify, that situates new recordings within a larger whole and encourages listeners to browse and immerse themselves in the collection, creating their own recordings and adding their own voices. The UA Voxology will act both as a resource for the classroom and as another way the University can reach out to engage the larger community. The long-term goal of the project is to create a high quality audio database of English and American literature that students and teachers can use to experience and study how the human voice affects our experience of literaturedent.

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UA Composers Forum

The Regional Composers Forum of the Southeastern Composers’ League was held annually at the University of Alabama from 1950 to 1970. The Forum was the brain child of two UA faculty members, Gurney Kennedy and Paul Newell, and its goal was to provide a venue for rehearsals, readings, and concerts of works by composers in the Southeast. The Forum also regularly featured well-known composers, including Lukas Foss, Vincent Persichetti, Ross Lee Finney, Norman Dello Joio, and many others. In the spring of 2016, Dr. Linda Cummins and the students in her graduate music history seminar, MUS 626, undertook an online project to document the history of the Forum.  They brought together materials held by the Hoole Special Collections Library and conducted research on the composers who attended the Forum over the years. The project, when complete, will illuminate a fascinating aspect of music history in the southeastern United States in the mid-twentieth century.

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“To See Justice Done”: Letters from the Scottsboro Boys Trials

More than eighty years ago, on March 25, 1931, nine young African Americans hopped a train in a Chattanooga freight yard and headed west to seek work. Instead, they found themselves joined together at the center of a life and death courtroom drama, falsely accused of rape. The Scottsboro Boys’ cases focused an international spotlight on Jim Crow in America in the 1930s. In 2013, Alabama legislators passed two bills, acknowledging that the men were “victims of a gross injustice.” One, a resolution, exonerated the nine defendants; and the other created a law making it possible to grant posthumous pardons to the Scottsboro defendants. Part of the Scottsboro Boys Museum University-Community partnership, this digital project aims to create a curated online repository of letters about the Scottsboro Boys Trials sent to Alabama governors during the 1930s from a wide range of correspondents to shed new light on these pivotal historical events.

View “To See Justice Done”: Letters from the Scottsboro Boys Trials