Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Q: Documenting Allen Hall's LGBTQIA Community
Author(s):Peterson, Kim; Remigio, Alejandro; Schroeder, Karl; Dolinar, Andrew; Arredondo, Olivia
Subject(s):Allen Hall
sexual identity
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:This research project was conducted by five students participating in two classes, a photo class and a writing class. The students worked in teams of writers and photographers to document the lives of student members of Q, the Allen Hall LGBTQIA student organization. In the first phase of the research, student teams photographed and interviewed Q members in their rooms. The interviews focused on how the arrangement and decoration of these small personal spaces reflected the students’ identities. Students continued the ethnographic summary of Q by attending and observing Q meetings and events and by conducting additional interviews. The student ethnographers also observed and documented Q members as they participated in National Day of Silence on April 20, 2012. Documentation of this ethnographic project included both a five-minute multimedia presentation edited and compiled by the writing students and a series of black and white studio portraits taken and printed by the photography students. This multimedia presentation combines still photos and audio clips selected from interviews with members of Q, Allen Hall’s LGBTQIA student group. The Q members interviewed in the presentation represent a range of viewpoints. Some are allies, others are openly out, and others are in the process of exploring their sexual identity. The interviewees speak about why they joined Q and how participating in Q events has affected their understanding of sexual identity and their experience as members of the university community. They also speak about how Q and the LGBTQIA community are perceived at Allen Hall and how Allen may differ from other residence halls or organizations on the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana campus.
Issue Date:2012-05
Course / Semester:ART 191/RHET 233 The Ethnography of Allen Hall: A Documentary Project in Word and Image
Instructor, Brad Hudson
Instructor, Carol Spindel
The Ethnography of Allen Hall is a project to investigate and understand the culture of student life in Allen Hall through interviews, photography, and the ethnographic technique of participant observation. Students worked in teams of writers and photographers to research and document the individual and collective lives of Unit One/Allen Hall residents. The class investigated the ways student community and identity are constructed at Allen Hall through social and cultural practices.
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-08-07

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