ANT 394M • Commitment to Community
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
This new, experimental seminar involves graduate students at dynamic points in the process of creating and implementing a community based cultural project. It is a combination of intensive scrutiny of scholarly literature and training in the methodology of research, ethnography, and history "from the bottom up" with planning, research, fieldwork, community outreach, fund raising, and design and management of a project within the context of a nonprofit organization. Students will learn how to design a project, develop grant proposals, do archival research, do outreach to community organizations, and creatively move a project forward from idea to planning to implementation.
In year one, the case study for "Commitment to Community" is the Austin Women's Commemorative Project. The objectives of the Austin Women's Commemorative Project are: to redefine ideas about what is worth commemorating in America; to explore women's contributions to public life over time and space, redefining their roles in history; to explore the principals underlying the work of local women on the community level, women on the national level and women working in the international arena; to make women's history a more central part of the lives of all people, men and women; to identify and commemorate women's philanthropic work in a variety of areas; and to explore the actual contributions of real women in one city and in so doing act as a model for cities and towns across America. Through readings, weekly discussions, research and fieldwork, the students will actively participate in thinking and most importantly, creating aspects of this project. The class will take fieldtrips to the Women's Museum in Dallas, and to Texas Women's University. Students will work with a team of community advisory, who have been at the forefront of women's history in Texas for thirty years. The results of this project have the potential to impact women's history in Austin for generations to come.