All rooms are equipped with an overhead projector
Rooms C, D, E, F, G and H (H only on Saturday): slide projector (framed slides, carrousel. There are extra carrousels available to set up your presentation in advance)
Rooms C, D, M, N, O, U and Committee Room 2: beamer to connect your laptop. You have to bring you own laptop. (If you want to use your Apple notebook, please contact us, as it may be incompatible.)
Rooms C, T and U: VCR
|Public and Private Memories of Displacement: Narrating Removal and Relocation|
|This presentation examines the multiple narratives surrounding the displacement of 500 families from their mountain homes in Virginia, paying close attention to the complex intertwining of public and private narratives. In doing so, I argue for the crucial inclusion of oral history, personal narrative, and individual stories in the overall rhetorics of displacement.
In order to examine rhetorics of displacement, I highlight the multiple kinds of narratives written about the removal of families in order to form Shenandoah National Park in Virginia in the early 1930s. This removal was prompted by local business people and government officials who wrote disparagingly about the mountain families in published park brochures, government documents, and newspaper articles. Dominant discourses about the region avowed that the mountain families were all poor, illiterate, and ill-suited to make decisions for themselves. When people are rendered displaceable, often representations of themselves are not included, and public discourse often excludes personal and private narrative. The process of relocation therefore often discounts the impact of the event on individuals. However, through letter writing and oral history, the mountain families employed rhetorics that counter monolithic discourse written about them. As an act of social participation, these writers/story-tellers resisted the rhetorics of isolation inscribed for them and created a unique identity that extends the collective memory of this time and place. These letters and oral histories continue to work against the accepted discourses about mountain families and narrate an untold story about the ways of life in the moments before displacement. Similarly, tThe letters and histories expose multi-faceted issues surrounding rhetorics of displacement, its use and disuse, and its power to document individual stories within broader hegemonic narratives about the Virginia landscape and the mountaineer.
With global discussions of the similarities of displacements across cultures, the narrating of memories becomes crucial to understanding displacement rhetorics and the ways that systemic power dynamics impact representations of migration, urban renewal, and relocation. This presentation places the rhetorics of Shenandoah National Park in context of global rhetorics of displacement, further arguing for the inclusion of personal narrative and history in displacement theorizing. In the same way that understanding global issues is crucial to understanding regional labor issues, global understanding of displacement rhetorics is necessary to understanding the ways that humans can be displaced. (Marcel van der Linden, “Globalizing Labour Historiography: The IISH Approach”, Chatty, Dawn, and Marcus Colchester, eds. Conservation and Mobile Indigenous Peoples: Displacement, Forced Settlement, and Sustainable Development, Shanmugaratnam, N., Ragnhild Lund, and Krisit Anne Stolen. In the Maze of Displacement: Conflict, Migration, and Change). In this way, examining oral history and narratives like letter writing in global contexts provides insights into constructs of self, memory, subjectivity, and identity, thus representing alternative notions of displacement.