About Critical Making
Hannibal Square Reporter (HSR) is an experiential learning project that builds on multiple semesters of research and classroom learning about Winter Park, Florida. HSR intersects with a digital recover project called Advocated Recovered that is designed to gather and transcribe fragments from the Winter Park Advocate, an African-American newspaper published in Winter Park, Florida. HSR is the latest addition to a cluster of digital pedagogical projects conducted by professor Julian Chambliss from the Department of History at Rollins College. HSR is designed to increase user understanding of the sociopolitical landscape that led to the detachment of the Hannibal Square, the historic African-American district, from the political boundaries of Winter Park in the 1890s. HSR is a simulation that builds on primary source research and secondary source historical literature to give the user a better understanding of the historical issues that shaped the political, economic, and social circumstances facing African Americans after Reconstruction. As a simulation, the HSR uses archival material from the Winter Park Advocate and imagined conversations based on the historical record to immerse the user in the past.
The Department of History offers History majors the opportunity to explore community based research assignments under our Applied History course within our developmental curriculum. This project highlights a critical making pedagogical process that stresses creation as a means of acquiring historical knowledge. The finished project serves as a public demonstration of knowledge integration and creates a digital artifact that allows the historical information to reach a public audience. Our students have written books with faculty and worked closely with community partners such as the Winter Park Historical Association (WPHA). These projects empower students to “do” history and spotlight the experiential and pragmatic tradition that defines the education mission at Rollins College.