Ghost River: Decolonization through Artistic Reinterpretation

Wednesday, 7 October 2020


Co-sponsored by the American Social History Project.

Ghost River: The Fall and Rise of the Conestoga (Red Planet Books and Comics, 2019) is a graphic novel about the Paxton massacres of 1763. However, as the title suggests, the Paxton vigilantes associated with this tragedy are peripheral to this story. This volume introduces new interpreters and new forms of evidence in order to foreground Indigenous victims, survivors, and kin in ways that colonial printed records – with their focus on colonial elites – cannot do alone. Written, illustrated, and published by Native partners, Ghost River confronts challenges that accompany studies of colonial America. How can we tell difficult stories that don’t reproduce past assumptions? Can we recollect tragedy without eulogizing it? And how can acts of artistic reinterpretation reveal the fluidity of history, memory, and collective mythology?

In a roundtable conversation, artist Weshoyot Avlitre (Tongva), author Dr. Lee Francis IV (Pueblo of Laguna), and editor Dr. Will Fenton will discuss the scholarly and creative collaboration behind this project, and how artistic reinterpretation of colonial records enabled the team to create imagine a narrative that re-centers the Indigenous past and present in studies of colonial America.




Choosing Your Online Publishing Platform: A Crash Course in Scalar

Thursday, 8 October 2020


Co-sponsored by GC Digital Initiatives.

In this 90-minute workshop, Will Fenton, Director of Research and Public Programs at the Library Company of Philadelphia, will offer a brief tour of his Scalar-based digital humanities project, Digital Paxton, followed by an introduction to Scalar (Alliance for Networking Visual Culture) as an online publishing platform with a comparative analysis to OmekaManifold, and WordPress. In addition to discussing the limitations and affordances of such platforms, Fenton will guide participants through the first steps of developing their own Scalar book or project.