In the fall 2015 semester of Dr. Jan Holmevik’s Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Technologies course, students used the theoretical project of Gregory Ulmer’s Konsult to produce a video critiquing the controversial and racial undertones of Clemson University’s Fort Hill. The Fort Hill building was originally the home of the Calhoun’s and later Thomas Clemson. It was more than a home—it was a plantation with more than 70 slaves. The project began with the rumors among undergraduate students that if they toured the building before graduation, they would not graduate.
The class engaged with the rumors via archival research in the Strom Thurmond Institute and rhetorical theorists like Ulmer, Rickert, Woods, and Vygotsky to understand the complicated histories of Fort Hill. After hours of research, filming, editing, and producing, the class completed the project, Legacies of Fort Hill, and disseminated the video across campus using flyers and QR codes.
In the spring 2016 semester, the video was accepted to the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa Digitorium, which is a conference for the developing field of digital humanities. Together, Eric Stephens, April O’Brien, Stephen Quigley, Brian Gaines, and Dr. Holmevik traveled to Tuscaloosa to present their project to a crowded room. Shortly after the conference, the digital project was accepted by the new journal, Textshop Experiments, which “is an open access journal that aims to extend the work of Greg Ulmer and to foster experimental works that invent, operate in, or analyze the apparatus of Electracy.”
The four students and Dr. Holmevik are excited to see the project published in such an online, open-access format.