Digital Scholarship Librarian Melanie Hubbard and Dermot Ryan, Associate Professor of English and Director of Graduate Program in English, have been awarded a BCLA-Leavey Center Faculty Research Fellowship. Expanding upon The Digital Watts Project, this new iteration of a long-term collaboration between Hubbard, Ryan, and the Southern California Library will grow the Watts Project by incorporating it into LMU classes and other student/community engaged learning activities. This project will utilize data gathered by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles (CSLA) to support of cross-disciplinary faculty research, advance the study of Los Angeles, and to make data on race relations in Los Angeles in the decades following 1965 available to new audiences.
According to their project proposal, Ryan and Hubbard hope to “go beyond digitizing materials to developing a fully-fledged online public humanities resource. In terms of scope, we hope that our work can expand beyond the original focus on the events of 1965. We see the long-term development of this project as interdisciplinary, drawing on the work of scholars and students who work in the areas of the history of Los Angeles, African American studies, Chicano studies, urban studies, political science, economics, literary studies, journalism, and art history.” As part of the project, Ryan and Hubbard will identify how data from CSLA and archival materials from LMU Library’s Archives & Special Collections might inform their work on Watts and increase the understanding of conditions in Los Angeles following the Watts uprising in 1965. “In short, we want to challenge the narrow scope in which the Watts uprising is usually viewed (a conflict between law enforcement and the community) and explore the extent to which the riots transformed the art, politics, and urban landscape of Los Angeles.” It is their aim for the final project to include a central website, links to data sources, digital collections of archival materials, hosted/linked digital projects, and pedagogical materials.