Remixing Rural Texas

Carter, Shannon (PI). Remixing Rural Texas: Local Texts, Global Context (HD 5139)

National Endowment for the Humanities-Digital Humanities Grant (9/1/2011-12/31/2012)

Outright: $24,966

To support: The development of a prototype for facilitating the “remixing” of various types of digitized primary sources for Web presentations (video) on rhetorical constructions of race and race relations in rural Texas within the broader historical context of the Civil Rights Movement.

From the grant–

Remixing Rural Texas (RRT) prototype frames critical race narratives in rural, northeast Texas by bringing together archival research methods with three traditions increasingly common in the Digital Humanities: aggregation, remixing, and geomapping tools. RRT is both expository and participatory in nature. Expository aspects feature video documentaries remixed almost entirely from existing local history collections illustrating the convergence of geographical, temporal, political, and economic factors in shifting critical race narratives across local landscapes by foregrounding tensions and conflicts surrounding local texts and contexts with global implications. The participatory role invites and guides community and student participants in collecting, remixing, and likewise framing additional critical race narratives of their own. Level I grant will fund the expository portion of RRT leading to a Level II grant application to support the participatory role to build from prototype.
Statement of Innovation
RRT staff will research and develop an interactive prototype that at once embraces remix culture and foregrounds the rigorous research and citation practices characteristic of traditional humanities scholarship. This innovative approach to the problem of access to primary source materials when investigating isolated communities builds upon and extends current research, and includes use of data source annotation tool developed for prototype, building from open source options like Popcornjs.
Significance and Contributions to Humanities
Digital technologies offer solutions to the problem of access to primary source materials when investigating rural, minority, and other communities historically inaccessible to both archivists and archival researchers, especially those archivists concerned with collecting and sustaining primary source materials on previously underrepresented groups and researchers who study historical agency among these groups and who are interested in encouraging community and student participation in same.

Presentations on RRT


 “Writing Democracy: A Federal Writers Project for the 21st Century” @ Imagining AmericaMinneapolis, MN, September 24, 2011

From conference program: After the 2008 economic crash, the idea of a new Federal Writers’ Project (FWP) was discussed in several national arenas. Though never funded, it continues to stir interest, contributing to the organization of a March 2011 conference at Texas A&M-Commerce called Writing Democracy: The Rhetoric of (T)here. The idea of a 21st century FWP can be used as a vehicle for discussing how university-community partnerships can draw attention to local stories in global and historical contexts. The session begins with an overview of the FWP under FDR in the 1930s, followed by a description of how Deliberative Theater helped promote deliberation about Pittsburgh’s current natural gas drilling boom. Finally, focus will turn toward discussing a local activist group in rural Texas to highlight how scholarship, teaching, and public programming combined to promote civic engagement.
Among the questions posed are:

      1. How can university-community partnerships build relationships that foster democracy by linking cultural work with local interests?
      2. What key themes might inform a “cultural rediscovery of America” in the current conjuncture?

Discussants are: Shannon Carter, Associate Professor of English, Texas A&M-Commerce; Tim Dawson, Document Developer, Program for Deliberative Democracy, Pittsburgh, PA; and Deborah Mutnick, Professor of English, Long Island University-Brooklyn. (see complete program)

Video presentation on RRT (Carter)

“Lightening Round” @ NEH Digital Humanities Project Directors Meeting, Washington, DC, September 27, 2011 [press release and schedule]

The constraints: Three slides, two minutes (slideshow, video available soon)


Digital Methodologies Research Series, Texas A&M-Commerce, Commerce, Texas, October 17, 2011

From press release:

Faculty, Students and Staff Welcome
Monday, October 24, 2011
2:30-3:30 pm
Digital Methodologies Presentation
SRSC Innovation Room A
Dr. Shannon Carter, Literature and Languages, will present her project, Remixing Rural Texas, in the first of the Digital Methodologies Research Series.
Remixing Rural Texas is an innovative project, funded by a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities, which will develop an interactive prototype to allow the combination of popular remix culture with academic research and citation practices. The project which is grounded on critical race narratives in rural, northeast Texas, will utilize the digital methodologies of aggregation, remixing and geomapping to enable community and student participants to collect primary materials (including video documentaries) from historically inaccessible and underrepresented communities while enabling humanities scholarship and analysis of the materials.
* * *
Increasingly, researchers in all disciplines are drawing upon digital methodologies to facilitate research. National grant sources are funding such research, especially when interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships can lead to the development of new programs and tools, or the innovative use of existing programs.
The Digital Methodologies Research Series plans to present two events a semester, beginning Fall 2011, to allow faculty, staff, and students who are interested in digital methodologies or who are already involved in such research to share ideas and make connections.
If you would like to present on your research, please contact Robin Anne Reid (, Literature and Languages.



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