About Decolonizing Representations

How can students and faculty engage in digital knowledge production as critical users and as meaningful producers of digital technologies? Through this two-day workshop, students and faculty will learn to do both.

It further pushes the history-technology connection through inviting participants to tell their own stories and design their own future speculations of what campus could look like if it were inclusive of some of the diverse voices and visions that are inherent to the university community and Gainesville at-large.

Landmarks structure environments, and they are central to how a space is conceptualized and perceived. They form anchors and reference points for orientation and for communication. Thus, the stories that are connected to the landmarks are significant and can serve to recolonize or decolonize the historical record. Through digital technologies and through 3-D printing, alternative histories can be crafted as told through specific objects, meeting points, and routes that offer counter-narratives that better represent some of the diverse histories of the University of Florida. For instance, an important landmark is the Timucua mound near the Law School, which has a recently rededicated historical marker acknowledging that UF sits on what used to be Timucua land; this new historical marker was initiated by the Native American Law Student Association (NALSA). Another landmark is the Plaza of the Americas, which in the 1930s had a tree planted for each Latin American country; UF has benefited from Latinx diaspora students and faculty since the 1930s. La Casita and the Institute of Black Culture are also central landmarks for Latinx diaspora and African Americans at UF. According to the Asian Alumni Association, Asian Americans have been coming to UF since 1914, and yet are rarely portrayed as central community members. The landmarks to be used in the workshop will be decided by the project partners as we plan the workshop in consultation with the relevant campus and community groups including but not limited to the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, LGBTQ Affairs, Asian Alumni Association, African American Studies Program, Center for Latin American Studies, and the Disability Resource Center. At the workshop, the participants will be able to choose among the selection when they break out into groups to make their app prototypes.

This aspect of future speculation is critical to the future of the world. It is especially important that marginalized people are able to critically think about how they want to represent themselves as individuals and as part of diverse groups and environments. To accomplish this, we will create a 2-D landscape print of (probably) the Plaza of the Americas, and then have each group envision and create a 3-D object that represents themselves in a meaningful way and that they will place in the 2-D Plaza. They will also write and perform a story as individuals and as an interconnected network relating to each other in the public UF space of the speculative future.

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