• Purdue University, 1904

Using Crowd-Sourcing and Integration to Trace the Critical Locations of Women’s Intellectual Work

In the absence of women’s published or publicly circulating texts, how else can rhetorical historians recover the reach of their pedagogical activity, and what can that recovery teach us about our disciplinary history? The MetaData Mapping Project (MDMP) answers that question by tracing women's intellectual influence through the migration of people, motives, texts, curriculum, and ephemera—all as reflected in institutional and archival metadata. It is especially interested in linking unprocessed or obscure materials that have influenced the development of college rhetoric or writing instruction through the Progressive Era, when those materials were authored by women.

MDMP began in 2011 as a concept for moving feminist historiography in rhetoric and writing studies beyond digital exhibits and recovery models that favored static locations, figures, and texts—even complex associations among them. In 2012 and 2013, it became the non-working prototype for a digital historical tool that will use crowd-sourcing and data integration in order to trace trans-historically the critical locations of women’s intellectual work in rhetoric and writing studies through the Progressive Era.

MDMP identifies critical locations by considering ongoing interactions between where their pedagogical activities have been performed or experienced, and where historians’ ideas of women’s pedagogical activities are documented or formed—in other words, where archival evidence intersects with historical motive and memory. The tool is unique in that it understands women’s critical locations to include historians’ own affiliations and motives for seeking them out. It also reflects the ways in which their metadata movements reveal or conceal topical shifts over time. In its experimental stages, MDMP will accept data sets to help determine the parameters of its taxonomy and the possibilities for visualization. In its finished form, MDMP will both collect user-contributed data and aggregate linked open data from various sources.

Project Update: Beginning in January 2016, MDMP is evolving to become part of a larger inquiry project, LWP: The Linked Women Pedagogues Project, in collaboration with Richard J. Urban and Stephen McElroy at Florida State University. This site is no longer accepting input forms or data sets. Please direct all further queries to Tarez Samra Graban at tgraban@fsu.edu.