Project Title:
Collaborative Collection of Chicago's Community Histories

Project Description:
“Collaborative Collecting of Chicago’s Community Histories” (CCCCH) seeks to create models for local community-engaged humanities projects that are globally accessible through digital technologies. We envision new methods for producing “humanities without walls” that serve to recast the Midwest as global.
CCCCH is a collaboration between Jennifer Brier and Elena Gutierrez, who each lead projects in the public humanities. Brier’s project, History Moves, is a public history project designed to engage community organizations and neighborhood groups in the process of imagining, collecting, and curating underexplored histories of Chicago. Gutierrez leads the Chicana Chicago Oral History Project, an effort to document and preserve the contributions and experiences of Chicana and Latina activists in the city of Chicago.
Working together we have developed a third project with two distinct, yet related long term goals: to convene a group of humanist scholars who work in both the digital realm and on questions of community-engagement to rethink the historical construction of the Midwest as a global activist space, and to develop best practices for research and curatorial process that are participatory and useable in the digital age. We will use the Chicana Chicago Oral History Project to pilot and develop the methods, practices and resources central to the vision and goals of History Moves.
Our commitment to collect and share historical materials collected within local Chicago communities and make those materials accessible online, allows the project to bring global attention to local organizing of Chicanas in the Midwest. Beyond including these missing voices in the city's history, oral histories of Chicana in the Midwest fundamentally disrupts paradigms that shape Chicana/o Studies. While most scholarship is based on Southwestern experiences, our focus will shift to Chicago, theoretically challenging central paradigms of "the border," Aztlan and locations of Chicano activism. The project will also demonstrate that activism as it existed during the 1970s and 1980s was not as U.S.-based as current scholarship purports, but partially drawn from their involvement in movements and organizing in Mexico. This will add new and important to evidence of global activism in the city.


Organizer Information:
Jennifer Brier (Gender and Women's Studies and History, UIC) and Elena Gutierrez (Gender and Women's Studies and Latin American and Latino Studies, UIC)
Contact Info: 1204 University Hall (MC 360), 601 S. Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60607
Email: jbrier@uic.edu, elgut@uic.edu