In this research lab we will work closely with a group of homeless residents to gain a greater understanding of their working experiences over time, compare how these experiences may relate to their parents’ experiences, and relate these individual stories to larger structural changes that have transformed the labor market in Washington, DC over the last half century. We will utilize a collaborative research model, involving the homeless participants in the process of research and interpretation. The expectation is that we will craft a research product that will be accessible and relevant to the homeless residents we work with, and that they can utilize this research in their own advocacy efforts.
On completion of the class, students will:
• Have an understanding of the practical and ethical dimensions of doing collaborative local history
• Have practical experience doing archival and oral history research
• Be able to think carefully about how to present history to a non-academic audience
• Have some basic fluency working with new media tools to facilitate collaboration and create a final project