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Memory and Lost Communities, Jenny Rice

Jenny Rice, 

Urban development is often publicly framed in terms of removing blight: the demolition of unsightly motels, decaying houses, unwalkable streets, shady corner stores that attract unwanted types. While certain communities, such as historic neighborhoods, are preserved through very deliberate archival processes, other spaces are not deemed worthy of such preservation. These spaces are unarchivable. In this working group, we will ask if (and why) unarchivable spaces are important for preserving in public memory, and if so, how to preserve them. The first third of our project focuses on readings from urban development theory, archival methods, and public memory. The second third involves on-site archival fieldwork, where we will put these theories into practice by collecting and recording the material and ephemeral traces of the pre- and post-development Gateway Precinct area of the Campus Master Plan expansion. Finally, the last third brings participants back together in order to discuss and reflect on the fieldwork process. We will conclude by collectively drafting (and sharing) our statements on public memory and lost communities.

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