As part of our ongoing partnership with the Texas After Violence Project in “English 10-714: Freedom and Imprisonment in the American Literary Tradition: A Multidisciplinary Approach,” students in the class recently completed an orientation session on GLIFOS Social Media, the digital archiving software used by the Human Rights Documentation Initiative (HRDI) in order to host digital primary source collections. Kathryn Darnall, Digital Asset Management Intern at the HRDI, provided us with a comprehensive yet highly accessible overview of GLIFOS, including many opportunities for students to interact with the technology and experiment with its functions.
Student responses to the GLIFOS orientation on our class blog highlighted the centrality of digital archiving tasks to our class’s commitment to community engagement. In one post, titled “An Out-Of-This-Classroom Experience,” a student commented, “This is a chance for me to gain valuable skills about real-life computer technology. More than that, I am most excited about the chance to do something substantial for an organization outside of an academic setting.” Another student pointed out that while participating in digital archiving tasks advances the TAVP mission, just as importantly, these tasks enhance liberal arts education:
“Even though the main goal of working with the TAVP is to help a non-profit and engage in activism, which I personally believe is central to feminist studies, as students, when we transcribe or create a table of contents for the video, we are better able to engage, critically think, and basically have a more meaningful interaction with the TAVP videos.”
Both student blog contributors mentioned the insights they are gaining into the profound “ripple effects” of the death penalty throughout Texas communities. One student blogged that at this point in the class’s work with the TAVP,
“I have been able to expand my perceived web of peoples affected by the death penalty. First it starts with the victim and the person sentenced, then to the family of the victim, then extending towards the perpetrator’s family, next to the lawyers on both sides of the case, after that the jurors of the case, and somewhere in between, the friends of the victim/perpetrator and witnesses of the crime. I hope that my understanding of this web continues to expand through more experiences with the TAVP.”
Another student blogger echoed this sentiment:
“I am most excited about working with the Texas After Violence Project because of the vast array of perspectives they collect regarding the death penalty… Since I am interested in a career in the field of law, whether that be as a lawyer or a law enforcement agent, I am excited to be able to learn concrete ways the legal system effects not only those incarcerated but the ripple effect it has on family and friends as well.”
In addition to completing the GLIFOS orientation, students also engaged with the TAVP this past week by contributing to a class HistoryPin gallery featuring selected clips from TAVP oral history interviews. You can explore our gallery here.
*All student bloggers in the class, including those cited above, completed this Social Media Privacy Agreement at the beginning of the semester.*