American University’s Humanities Truck is now up and running! Read more about this collaborative, community-engaged, research project by AU’s Public History Program in which students and faculty will interview diverse, underserved communities in DC, collecting, interpreting, and sharing their stories.
The DC Humanities Truck that arrived on campus last week is not just any truck. It’s a recording studio, mobile workshop space, and gallery for pop-up exhibits, featuring built-in speakers, a flat screen television, a roll-down screen and projector, and even an exhibit wall. The truck’s exterior is designed by Carly Thaw, who recently graduated from AU with a major in graphic design.
Starting this semester, faculty and students will drive the truck to DC neighborhoods to interview residents on their own turf. The purpose of the project is to document the stories of diverse, underserved communities throughout the DC region.
But collecting information is just the beginning, says Dan Kerr, director of American University’s Public History Program. “What makes the truck project unique is that scholars and city residents can work together to interpret and curate these stories—to create web-based projects and a digital repository,” he says. “These end products can then be exhibited and circulated within and beyond the communities where they were created.”
Image © Ted Chaffman