Digital Storytelling Colloquium presentation

"Visualizing Community Formation: Challenging Conceptions of Space through Digital Mapping"

Bryan Winston, Dartmouth College

Recording available on YouTube


This presentation will discuss how visualizing community formation can challenge our conceptions of space by focusing on Bryan Winston's digital history project, "Mapping the Mexican Midwest." The project is part of a larger scholarly effort to recover the Mexican past in the Lower Midwest and confront racialized conceptions of the region by illuminating Mexican migrant place-making. The presentation will highlight the use of Mexican consulate records, city directories, and more as sources for historical recovery and the difficulties of locating places and institutions that no longer exist. The talk will also discuss how pairing this archival research with oral histories and migrant letters allows Mexican voices to explain how Mexican migrants connected urban and rural areas and established refuges from social marginalization. Finally, this talk will explore some of the challenges of visualization and the hopes of expanding this work. While the goal of this project is to intervene in our understanding of the Midwest and the Mexican experience in the United States, it offers lessons and suggestions for digital mapping work to analyze community formation.


The IDRH Digital Storytelling Colloquium is a series of virtual events focused on the ethics, politics, and techniques of digital storytelling. Stretched over the length of the academic year, the events will feature exemplary projects from across the world and across the KU campus, model digital storytelling practices, and introduce participants to a range of digital storytelling tools. Some meetings will be webinar-style presentations; others will be Zoom-style collaborative meetings. Across all events, the vision of the colloquium is to build a community of inquiry and an incubator for ideas.  

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