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AHST 4545 Cornerstones Seminar: Place, Culture, and the Public Bethany Rogers, Ph.D.

Office hours: Tuesday 5:00-6:00 PM and by appointment Telephone: 225.270.9990 E-mail address: brogers2@tulane.edu COURSE OBJECTIVES This course has three principal objectives. First, this class is designed to help you develop working ideas of place and culture and other related concepts, such as architecture, landscape, performance, practice, and transmission. This course will pointedly explore how place and culture inform one another and how they are both constituted and perpetuated. With a strong conceptual base, you will also be introduced to varied research methods and techniques to document significant buildings in New Orleans built and cultural landscapes, such as measured and conceptual drawings, architectural histories, maps, transect walks, photography, indepth interviews, and participant observation. We will explore how to combine these methods to apprehend the material, cultural, social, and/or political aspects of places. Using these conceptual and methodological approaches, you will work as pairs to generate documentation and place portraits of sites of local social, cultural, historical, or architectural significance to be included in the Cornerstones documentary project, an outreach project housed in the Tulane City Center that documents and promotes sites important to the social and cultural life of New Orleans. In addition to cultivating a critical lens for the documentation and study of the intersections of place and culture, you will gain experience collaborating with and presenting your research to the public. We will read and discuss who exactly the public is and what is involved in serving the public in different research, design, and outreach settings. For this portion of the class, we will work closely with a community partner, Broad Community Connections, an urban Main Street initiative, to produce an asset map that identifies and promotes the cornerstones or local landmarks in and around the Broad Street corridor. This course adheres to a collaborative research model, so we will involve our community partner and other research participants throughout our semester-long research project, from identifying our study sites and conceptualizing our fieldwork to presenting our final products to Broad Community Connections and participating community businesses and residents.
The Cornerstones project is an outreach project housed in Tulane City Center. The project is an effort to document and advocate for the sites that store, facilitate, or perpetuate New Orleans history, culture, and sense of place. Generally in New Orleans, places have been designated as important landmarks based on their architectural significance or their role in official histories. Guided by the input and insight of New Orleanians, Cornerstones is intended to promote a broader array of the citys place-based resources and 1

Cornerstones

help us better understand why they are significant to those who use them. The project has worked with combining different documentation methods and media to promote the citys social and cultural landmarks, and in this course you will be part of an effort to refine our approaches and more effectively and creatively promote the formal, everyday, overlooked, or threatened sites that are the cornerstones of New Orleans neighborhoods.

Fieldwork Fieldwork is a hands-on approach to gathering data and gaining insight on an array of social issues. It requires going out into the field, which, in the case of this service learning course, means leaving the classroom and doing work in the Mid-City, Tulane-Gravier, Treme, Bayou Saint John, or Seventh Ward neighborhoods of New Orleans. In addition to working with your instructor and classmates, you will collaborate with local preservationists, economic development specialists, business owners, cultural bearers, and other residents. This course is heavy on fieldwork and students will have to have some mode of transport to get to their study sites several times throughout the semester. While students will always go into the field in pairs and sometimes be accompanied by me or a representative from Broad Community Connections, students will have to be comfortable taking the initiative to carry out their own field assignments. Due to the amount of fieldwork and community outreach students will be required to do for this course, you will be able to receive 40 hours of service learning credit for the course through the Universitys Center for Public Service. Service Learning and Broad Community Connections This course will uphold the standards of service learning as established by the Universitys Center for Public Service (CPS). Service learning, as promoted by CPS, is an educational experience based on a collaborative partnership between Tulane and the New Orleans community. The application of service learning in this course offer students the opportunity to apply their academic knowledge and critical thinking skills to meet genuine community needs. Students will provide service to the community and these services will be assessed through a range of deliverables: documentation of two local landmarks; completion of a final project for use by Broad Community Connections, our community partner; several reflection papers on your course and field work. Due to the fieldwork demands and the collaborative research approach upheld in this seminar, students will necessarily have to carry out 40 hours of service learning. While the course is not yet in the CPS system, the class is pending approval and students will be able to sign up for their service learning hours once the course is underway. Broad Community Connections is a non-profit neighborhood development organization and its mission is to revitalize Broad Street from Tulane Avenue to Bayou Road as a vibrant commercial corridor, bringing together the surrounding neighborhoods and fostering their economic, residential, and cultural development. As an officially-designated urban Louisiana Main Street (an initiative under the umbrella of the National Trust for Historic Preservation), BCC's work is rooted in place-based development and preservation, using the cultural, built, and economic heritage of the Broad Street corridor as the basis for promoting its revitalization. The organization works with
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business and property owners, residents, institutional stakeholders, and public agencies to rejuvenate the corridor and the adjacent Mid-City, Treme, Bayou Saint John, Esplanade Ridge and Seventh Ward neighborhoods. Service Learning Activities There will be two major service learning assignments for this course: 1. Students Documentation of New Orleans Cornerstones Students will work in pairs to document one New Orleans Cornerstone, sites nominated by community leaders, business owners, and residents in the Mid-City, Tulane-Gravier, Treme, Bayou Saint John, and Seventh Ward neighborhoods as significant to their communities or the city-at-large. This piece of the project will require several visits to selected field sites to interview owners, managers, and other important people at the sites, observe how the spaces are used, take photos, generate measured line drawings or other appropriate architectural documentation, carry out archival research as needed, and develop narratives that synthesize the information they collect through their interviews, observations, and supplemental archival research. Students will be required to submit several documentation components that adhere to the Cornerstones documentation model and that meet drawing, photo, and research quality standards, so that the products can be incorporated into the Cornerstones project online registry and also made available for reference or promotional use by any of our research participants, including Broad Community Connections, associated neighborhood groups, or local businesses, among others. 2. Map of Broad Street Corridor Community Assets The second public service activity will be a collaborative class project. Working closely with Broad Community Connections, we will document some additional Cornerstones along the Bayou Road and Broad Street corridors, as well as generate some sort of graphic final product to help promote these sites. The parameters of this final product are not definite, because we are going to ask our research collaborators what they prefer as a format for presenting all of our documented sites a printed map or poster, interpretive signs about their community cornerstones, a virtual tour, etc. The fundamental nature of the product, however, is certain; it will be a product that identifies and promotes a selection of the areas built resources, community gathering areas, and everyday landmarks. Critical Reflection There will be two types of assignments designed to encourage critical reflection for this course: 1. Reflection Essays -- Students will be asked to write a series of brief reflection essays throughout the semester, summarizing and raising questions about the class readings and cataloguing their thoughts and experience working on the service learning assignments for the course. These essays will be one to two pages in length, and will require you to write concisely while reflecting critically on how the course readings,
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discussions, field work assignments, and collaborative project work speak to the assigned general topic for the paper. You will be provided an essay topic for each paper at least two weeks in advance of the due date. 2. Final Paper -- Students will also turn in a 6 to 8 page (undergraduates) or 8 to 10 page (graduates) final essay that will analyze your semester research work. You will discuss how the course has furthered your understandings of place and culture and if you have learned skills that can be applied to your studies and work in architectural design, historic or cultural preservation, or sustainability. You will also submit your final versions of your Cornerstones documentation with the approval of your research participants and you will how upholding a collaborative research model and engaging in public service work both challenged and enriched your research work during the semester. Course Assignments and Grading Attendance and Class Participation 10% Unless students have a valid excuse for absence according to university policy, more than one absence will result in the deduction of attendance points. True participation in a class involves active listening, thoughtful comments, bringing in relevant articles to class, or other engaged activities, not simply talking for talkings sake. Reflection Essays 10% The reflection papers are intended to encourage critical and creative thought. They are designed to be essays, as opposed to formal research papers, and they are a forum for students to synthesize, clarify, or question course material and field experiences. Students, however, will be evaluated on their ability to articulate and support their understandings of course readings, discussions, and field experiences. Site Documentation 25% Fieldwork teams will be provided a list of documentation components and their quality standards early in the semester that will constitute a complete assignment. In addition to these component and format standards, students will be evaluated on the quality of their work (i.e. producing an accurate and properly labeled measured drawing or developing relevant and well-written vignettes from in-depth interviews). We have one review assignment in the class, when students will submit one drawing and portions of one interview from their study site; points from your final grade on this assignment will be deducted if you do not meet this interim deadline. Students will also be asked to evaluate the contribution of their research partner on the assignment. Final Product 35% (Additional Site Research 20% and Graphic Presentation of Research 15%)
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Students will have individual assignments in order to produce this collaborative project. They will be definitively assigned half-way through the course. Grades for this assignment will be based on my assessment of the quality of your individual component, as well as the quality of the entire class project. Students will also be asked to evaluate their classmates on
their contribution to the final project.

Final paper 20% As opposed to the reflection papers, the final class paper is expected to be a more formal piece of writing. Students will have to draw on the readings, lectures, discussion, and fieldwork assignments from throughout the semester to compose the final paper. Students will be graded on their ability to address the assigned topics for the final paper (which will be further discussed in class) and their ability to write articulately and thoughtfully about those topics, as well as their grammar usage and essay organization. In addition to the paper, students will present their final versions of their Cornerstones documentation with the input and approval of their semester research partners.

Academic Integrity The integrity of Tulane University is based on the absolute honesty of the entire community in all academic endeavors. As part of the community, students have responsibilities regarding the originality of all independent work that forms the basis for the evaluation of their academic achievement. Office of Disability Services Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss specific needs. Please contact the Office of Disability Services at 504.862.8433 to establish eligibility and to coordinate reasonable accommodations. For additional information please refer to: http://www.tulane.edu/~erc/disability/. Counseling Services The Counseling Services at the Center for Educational Resources & Counseling assist students in addressing academic, career, and personal problems. Support services include: school, relationships, anxiety, depression, sexuality, career direction, choosing a major, family issues, traumatic events, crises, or other situations may arise. Call 504.865.5113, #1, any time, or visit: http://www.tulane.edu/~erc/counseling/index.htm Course Topics, Readings, and Assignment Outline Readings for this course will include a selection of articles, book chapters, and webpages. They will all be available on Blackboard under Course Documents. All required reading should be done before the class for which it is assigned. Students will be able to purchase a copy of Cornerstones: Celebrating the Everyday Monuments and Gathering Places of New Orleans Neighborhoods in class at the wholesale price to use as a working research guide.
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NOTE: Some details of course administration and/or the course syllabus may be changed from time to time as circumstances dictate. Flexibility in scheduling will be required for class field trips and field work, guest speakers, and ongoing collaboration with our community partner. These changes will be announced and discussed in class, and it is your responsibility to be aware of them. August 30, Week 1: Introduction September 6, Week 2: What is place? Activity: Tour of Broad Street corridor with Jeff Schwartz, Executive Director of Broad Community Connections. Meet at Community Book Center, 2523 Bayou Road. Readings: Selections from Place: A Short Introduction, by Tim Cresswell, Blackwell Publishing, 2004. Landscape and the Obliteration of Practice by Tim Cresswell in Handbook of Cultural Geography, editors Kay Anderson, Mona Domosh, Steve Pile, and Nigel Thrift, Sage Publications, 2003. September 13, Week 3: What is culture? Activity: Present possible field study sites for the semester; discuss fieldwork logistics for the course Readings: Selection from Invitation to Anthropology, Luke Eric Lassiter, Alta Mira Press, 2008. Selection from The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas, Diana Taylor, Duke University Press, 2003. September 20, Week 4: Qualitative methods Assignment: Reflective Essay 1 Turn in proposed field work teams and study sites for semester; sign-up for initial site visit with Jeff Schwartz or me during week 5 (see below) Readings: Anthropological Methods for Assessing Cultural Values by Setha Low in Rethinking Urban Parks: Public Space and Cultural Diversity, eds Setha Low, Dana Taplin, and Suzanne Scheld, University of Texas Press, 2005. Selection from Conducting Research into Human Geography by Rob Kitchin and Nicholas Tate, Prentice Hall, 2000. Selection from Invitation to Anthropology, Luke Eric Lassiter, Alta Mira Press, 2008. September 27, Week 5: Into the field NO CLASS Activity: No Class, BUT each team must make an initial visit to their field sites with Dr. Rogers during this week (time slots will be determined during week 4 of class) Reading:
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The Munice Race Riots of 1967, Representing Community Memory through Public Performance, and Collaborative Ethnography Between Faculty, Students, And The Local Community by Lee Papa and Luke Eric Lassiter in Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 32 (2): 147- 166, 2003.

October 4, Week 6: Architectural documentation; The public and collaborative research Readings: Selections from Delirious New Orleans: Manifesto for an Extraordinary American City by Stephen Verderber, University of Texas Press, 2009. Selection from The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography by Luke Eric Lassiter, University of Chicago Press, 2005. Selection from publication by City Lore and Place Matters. October 11, Week 7: Archival methods/architectural histories; Creative methods and media transect walks, meaning maps, audio, film Assignment: Fieldwork review assignment: one measured site drawing and summary and excerpt of one field interviews to be submitted for review by Friday at 5:00 PM Readings: Archival Fieldwork by Cole Harris in Geographical Review 91 (1/2): 328-335, 2001. Additional reading selection(s) on creative methods and media TBD October 18, Week 8: Place-based interpretation and programming Activities: Look online/watch media and consider some notable national and international place-based documentary projects Readings: Reading(s) on place-based interpretation and programming TBD. October 25, Week 9: Roundtable on final class products Assignment: Turn in all components of your Cornerstones site documentation Activity: Roundtable discussion with BCC and interested community businesses or residents about development of final class product centered on Bayou Road as a cultural and business corridor and around the Schwegmans redevelopment project; location TBD November 1, Week 10: Looking more deeply at place and place significance Activity: Research, design, and outreach responsibilities for final products discussed and assigned. Turn in evaluation of field partners contribution to your Cornerstones documentation. Readings:
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When Less is More: Absence and Landscape in a California Ghost Town by Dydia DeLyser in Textures of Place: Exploring Humanist Geographies, eds Paul Adams, Steven Hoelscher, and Karen Till, University of Minnesota Press, 2001, pp. 24-40. Additional reading TBD.

November 8, Week 11: Looking more deeply at relationships between place and culture Assignment: Reflection paper2 Activity: Documentation assignment returned to be presented to your research partners for final approval (can be submitted with final paper) Readings: Selection from Cities of the Dead: circum-Atlantic performance by Joseph Roach. Columbia University Press, 1996. Selections from Spaces of Vernacular Creativity: Rethinking the Cultural Economy, eds Tim Edensor, Deborah Leslie, Steve Millington, and Norma Rantisi, Sage Publications, 2009. November 15, 2011, Week 12: Relevance of course to architectural design Activity: Guest speaker from Artspace project Readings: Selection from Rethinking Urban Parks: Public Space and Cultural Diversity, eds Setha Low, Dana Taplin, and Suzanne Scheld, University of Texas Press, 2005. November 22, Week 13: Relevance of course to social design/geographies of care Assignment: Documentation components of final product due Activity: Final project discussion; Cornerstones documentation assignment returned to be presented to your research partners for final approval; turn in evaluation of field partners contribution to your Cornerstones documentation Reading: Creativity Unbound: Cultivating the generative power of non-economic neighborhood spaces by Ava Bromberg in Spaces of Vernacular Creativity: Rethinking the Cultural Economy, pp. 215-226. November 29, Week 14: Relevance of course to architectural and cultural preservation Assignment: Graphic components of final product due (will do end of week deadline for assembly, but it will depend on how much time is needed to print whatever we create for the final product) Activity:

Documentation assignments returned to be submitted to your research partners for final approval (can be submitted with final paper); Class work on assembling final product and developing a presentation for BCC Readings: Selection from Place, Race, and Story: Essays on the Past and Future of Historic Preservation by Ned Kaufman, Routledge, 2009. December 6, Week 15: Going public Activity: Presentation of final product to BCC and a par-tay! December 13, Week 16: The finish line Assignment: Final paper and final version of your Cornerstones documentation approved by your research partners, due by 6:00 PM; turn in evaluations of classmates contributions to the final product and presentation