Invitation to April 17 Participatory Digital Research Workshop


I am writing to invite faculty and graduate students to participate in a morning workshop on April 17 (Thursday) with Prof. Carroll Parrott Blue, a pioneer of participatory filmmaking and digital storytelling. This workshop is an opportunity for faculty and graduate students who are starting on the path of publicly engaged, visual/digital qualitative research to meet an trailblazer in this emerging field. Prof. Blue will share her reflections on developing multimedia projects in community-based research and creating publicly engaged visual and textual scholarship. The morning workshop will take place in the Center for Research on Families conference room, 622 Tobin Hall, from 9:30 am-12 pm on Thursday, April 17. Brunch will be served. The event is free, co-sponsored by the UMass–Amherst Emerging Methodologies Workgroup and the Center for Research on Families (CRF).

Prof. Blue (University of Houston), will be visiting campus as part of the Massachusetts International Film Festival on April 16, when she will screen her multimedia project, “Black Houston: Digital Storytelling” (7:30pm, 137 Isenberg School of Management, UMass Amherst). Blue is an award-winning filmmaker, multimedia producer, author and public
artist who blends text, stills, graphics and moving image in traditional and new media formats. Her experimental memoir, “The Dawn at My Back: Memoir of a Black Texas Upbringing,” is a combination book, DVD-ROM, and website. In 2004, Dawn
was selected by the American Library Association as one of the thirty best American Association of University Press publications and Dawn’s DVD-ROM won the 2004 Sundance Film Festival Jury Award in its first-ever New Forms category. In her latest project, Professor Blue and her research team are assembling a “storymap” of an historically black neighborhood in Houston, filming community members’ stories on location and placing them on an interactive map ( Prof. Blue’s research and multimedia digital projects are exemplars of “emerging methodologies” in community-based qualitative research.

Participants are strongly encouraged to read/view Prof. Blue’s book/multimedia DVD, “Dawn at my Back.” Copies of the book will be available at the workshop. The book is $60, and proceeds benefit Prof. Blue’s “New Dawn Project,” a community-based research project in Houston’s Third Ward.

Please contact Krista Harper at to RSVP by Monday, April 14 (space is limited).