Boxcar Stage

By Barry O'Keefe

On February 4th, 2016, one last freight train passed Athens County before the closing of Norfolk Southern’s West Virginia Secondary Line. The freight service was no longer needed to sustain a declining coal industry. In a region that has been defined by, and defines itself with the industries of coal and rail, this final train embodies the need to embrace different lineages of Appalachian identity. The legacy of extractive industry must be respectfully laid to rest, and revised with more sustainable relationships to the landscape and to each other. Last summer, I visited a closing branch of a coal company in Southern Ohio. They had filled a dumpster to the brim with old records and maps. I was allowed to rescue a carload, and back in Athens I poured over the haul. Beautiful aerial photographs of industrial scars, ghostly blueprints of mining equipment, and mysterious ledgers of...

Bronzeville Etudes & Riffs

By Philp Mallory Jones

Bronzeville is an area of the South Side of Chicago. It emerged as a Mecca for the arts, commerce, entertainment and more – replete with all of the attendant human aspirations, ambitions and frailties – as a result of the Great Migration of African Americans from the rural South to cities in the North and West, over a 50 year span of the twentieth century. Add to that Jim Crow Segregation, The Great Depression, The Chicago Renaissance, and World War II and you have the milieu of Bronzeville Etudes & Riffs. Bronzeville Etudes & Riffs is now LIVE on KICKSTARTER! Immersive interactive storytelling set in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side, circa 1940, for PC and Mac desktop, laptop and tablet. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/95105404/bronzeville-etudes-and-riffs...

WWII Smokejumper Slides


In 1944, my Grandpa Ivan was drafted into WWII. An 18-year-old Mennonite farm boy, he applied for C.O. status and joined 12,000 other men in Civilian Public Service. These men, who would not participate in “war of any form,” worked in forest service, volunteered as “human guinea pigs” in medical labs, and volunteered in mental health asylums. 300 were strong enough to make it into the Smokejumpers, who fought forest fires in the American West. My grandpa was one of these men, and these slides document these years–the only visual record he’s retained from his CPS years. These slides fuel my research and creative writing as I explore oral histories and photos from CPS men.  

Film History: Early Camera Developments

By Maxwell Sorenson

For my film history final I decided to take a look at some of the early developments of the camera and use those developments to create a short film. Throughout the film you can see how the camera in film became more advanced and used creatively to capture the action. I used the roundabout on Richland Ave., near The Ridges, as my subject matter.    

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