Digital Studio for Public Humanities

The Digital Studio for Public Humanities is a service provided by The University of Iowa that encourages digital humanities research. You can learn more about The Digital Studio for Public Humanities here. The Digital Studio for Public Humanities is located in the Main Library on the University of Iowa campus but they partner with Public Humanities in a Digital World. You can read all about The Digital Studio for Public Humanities and what they do for the University at both of these links.


W. Ralph Eubanks discusses Trethewey’s ‘Beyond Katrina’

W. Ralph Eubanks is an author from Mississippi and on the 5 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina he interviews with Terry Gross. They discuss Natasha Trethewey’s journey regarding Hurricane Katrina because it was such a major event in her life and her book of poetry, ‘Beyond Katrina.’ The interview can be heard here.

Sherman’s March Through Atlanta


William Sherman, a general for the Union Army, was ordered to make a march that would basically end the war. He started off in Atlanta and finished in Savanah, Georgia, burning everything in site. The troops destroyed all the crops, livestock, and took any supplies that they could. They also tore up over 300 miles of railroad, which was the south’s main way of transporting supplies By them doing this they forced the south into a surrender by General Joseph E. Johnston on April 26, 1865

William Faulkner in Trethewey Poems

In multiple Natasha Trethewey poems she references William Faulkner and his work. For example in Miscegenation she refers to Joe Christmas, the main protagonist from Faulkner’s, “Light in August.” Joe Christmas is an example of a tragic mulatto and his character references Jesus Christ in multiple ways such as he was found on Christmas eve at an orphanage, he has the same initials as Jesus Christ (J.C.) and he died at age 33, which is when Jesus died. It is important to understand that Trethewey comes from a mixed-race family just like Joe Christmas and since she is from the south where racism is prominent she has difficulty dealing with her race. Also, William Faulkner is a southern writer so Trethewey relates herself to him because they both write about southern issues.

Fort Pillow Controversy

1864: The Battle of Fort Pillow takes place.  Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest led 2,500 troops against a Union held position, containing roughly 600 Union soldiers (Split of white and African-American).  After a clear Confederate Victory, the Union were given a chance to surrender.  Initially rejected, the Union were forced to surrender after imminent defeat.  Atrocities performed by the South against the Union (namely the African-American soldiers) happened in the aftermath, starting the alleged Fort Pillow Massacre.  Confederate soldiers are blamed with slaugthering African-American troops, as well as burying them alive, and setting fire to sick tents.  Confederates deny that such an event took place.

Trethewey: Annotated Poetry

March 1863

I listen, put down in ink what I know

they labor to say between silences

too big for words: worry for beloveds —

My Dearest, how are you getting along —

what has become of their small plots of land(1) —

did you harvest enough food to put by?

They long for the comfort of former lives —

I see you as you were, waving goodbye.

Some send photographs — a likeness in case

the body can’t return(2).  Others dictate

harsh facts of this war: The hot air carries

the stench of limbs, rotten in the bone pit.

Flies swarm — a black cloud.  We hunger, grow weak.

When men die, we eat their share of hardtack(3). 

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Social and Political Issues in the United States regarding TrayVon Martin’s Death


TrayVon Martin, a 17 year old boy from Florida was shot on February 26th by a neighborhood watch man, George Zimmerman, who thought his life was endangered by TrayVon. Recently, the FBI has decided to work on this case and investigate Mr. Zimmerman. This video is the reaction of a right-wing political journalist, author, reporter, and talk show host.