Co-Director of the Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi) Janet Simons, Philippa (Pippa) Schwarzkopf ’16 and John Bartle, associate professor of German and Russian languages and literatures, gave an invited presentation of two short films on April 2 at Hartwick College. Genesee Lights and The Newcomers were made as part of the DHi’s Refugee Project, a collaborative/collective documentary project about daily life in refugee communities in Upstate New York.
In the related discussion, the three covered both general issues related to refugee resettlement and how weak language skills may prevent some refugees access to high school. Simons, Schwarzkopf and Bartle were joined on the dais by Paswer Soe, a Karen refugee who is the primary voice of The Newcomers. Soe is a candidate for May graduation from Hartwick.
This event was the third DHi presentation on the Refugee Project this year. In January, Simons, Schwarzkopf and Bartle were joined by Kaitie McPhee ’16 and David Chanatry ’80, associate professor of journalism at Utica College, for a screening and discussion at The Other Side in Utica as part of the Imagining America series. In February, Bartle gave an invited talk titled “The Refugee Project: An Outreach and Digital Humanities Student-Faculty Initiative at Hamilton College” at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Project participants were also invited to present their work at SUNY Poly in Utica during the fall.