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This August, DOECL Professor Courtney Rivard released her book Layered Lives: Rhetoric and Representation in the Southern Life History Project. This book was written alongside Lauren Tilton (@nolauren), an Associate Professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Richmond, and Taylor Arnold (@statsmaths), an Associate Professor of Linguistics and Data Science at the University of Richmond. Layered Lives is published through Stanford University Press and is available here.

In an innovative digital format, Layered Lives recovers the history of the 1930’s Southern Life History Project through an interdisciplinary approach that combines close readings of archival material with computational methods that analyze the collection at scale. The Layered Lives about page explains The Southern Life History Project as “a Federal Writers’ Project initiative, put unemployed writers to work during the Great Depression by capturing the stories of everyday people across the Southeast through a new form of social documentation called ‘life histories.'”

In this book, Arnold, Rivard, and Tilton “grapple with the challenges of what counts as social knowledge, how to accurately represent social conditions, who could produce such knowledge, and who is and is not represented. Embedded within such debates are also struggles over what counts as data, evidence, and ways of knowing.”

Congratulations, Professor Rivard!

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