DH13 Resistance Mapping


This group aims to develop a digital humanities project that maps the interwoven histories of Native dispossession, racial segregation, and immigration in Rochester, NY and documents how past and present activism has challenged patterns of inequity.


Active since: 2021

  • University of Rochester
  • Rochester Institute of Technology

Collaborative Goals

Our working group brings together scholars, teachers, and community organizers from Rochester and its surrounding regions to consider space-based racial projects in our community’s past and present.

For the first year, we will aim to achieve three goals. First, we will share ongoing research and brainstorm ideas about how to curate digital humanities project content based on that research. Our work will build on ongoing efforts by some Working Group members to document racially restrictive housing covenants in Rochester—tools used by real estate developers to prevent people of color from buying or occupying property. Other Working Group members are conducting ongoing local research on racialized placemaking and carceral geographies. The group will bring these efforts together and our introductory meeting (Proposed Activity #1) will allow us to share ideas and start synthesizing research agendas.

Second, we will study current successful digital humanities projects focused on local histories of racism and resistance. Our organizers include faculty members with experience developing and mounting digital humanities projects. Drawing on our expertise and our network of contacts in the field, we will convene a roundtable discussion for the working group to learn from successful practitioners about project development, design, and workflow (Proposed Activity #2). This will be especially important for building a project that can serve and support ongoing community work. This digital humanities project must be a community resource, as we recognize that colleges and universities have a history of perpetuating racist policies in central New York. In bringing researchers and placemakers together from both within and outside the university, the working group aims to create a collaborative and participatory model of knowledge creation that does not reproduce histories of extraction and exploitation. At our proposed roundtable, we will gain insight from project developers who have successfully linked their digital work to local community action.

Finally, we hope to use our proposed initial activities to build our working group membership. We currently have organizers and members from two Central New York Humanities Corridor institutions, along with several community organizations. During our initial year of networking and project planning, we hope to recruit members from other institutions in the Monroe County and CNY region.

Group Organizers

Kristin Doughty

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Kathryn Mariner

Assistant Professor Anthropology and Visual and Cultural Studies

Whitney Sperrazza

Assistant Professor of English