Department of History to host Zoom discussion about walking-tour project Savannah History Remix
Savannah is drenched in history, but many of the city’s stories often go untold. Four Georgia Southern University history students aim to shed light on these untold stories as a part of their project, Savannah History Remix.
The project, developed by graduate students Lauren Della Piazza Hartke, R. Dalton Bryant, Noah Prince, and Dalton Blackmon, is a series of walking tours featuring lesser-known stories of Savannah’s history. Hartke, Blackmon and Prince will have a virtual discussion about the project on Oct. 23 at 6 p.m.
The tours were set to debut in April and take place in groups, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tours were modified to be self-guided through Emory University’s OpenTour platform.
“The walking tours seemed like the safest bet and a good opportunity to learn some digital skills,” said Assistant Professor of history Alena Pirok, Ph.D., who is overseeing the project. “The tours intend to bring new and useful historical information to the city, its residents and the historical tourism industry.”
When the project began, the students identified subjects not found on commercial tours of Savannah, including modern immigration, laborers, common people of Savannah and the LGBTQ community. Hartke created the tour, “A Seat at the Table: A Social History of Savannah’s Foodways,” which revolves around the culinary history of the city.
“My goal for this project was to show how Savannah’s food scene today is the product of many years of input and contribution from many different subgroups of peoples,” she said. “I want people to understand how our notion of southern food is the product of English, West African and Native American foodways, combined with regional practices unique to Savannah’s economy and ecology.”
Pirok said the Savannah History Remix tours have more freedom than commercial tours.
“A non-profit tour like ours does not have to worry about losing customers and money,” she said. “This gives us the freedom to take more risks and to offer new, but academically sound, historical narratives that people do not find familiar or ones that might challenge their vision of the world.”
During the Zoom discussion, the students will talk about their projects and the process of creating the tours. There will also be a preview of two tours and how to access them.
“We hope that the Zoom discussion will prompt people to go and visit the digital tour site,” Hartke said. “I hope that while we may be unable to lead in-person tours, it will provide people with the tools to get out and explore the city of Savannah on their own, in a way that is safe and informed.”
The students will also talk about other gaps in Savannah’s history and future projects that can help bring more stories to the people of Savannah.
“We want to present people with stories they didn’t know they wanted to know,” Pirok said. “Ultimately, I would like people to walk away from the tours with some new stories about Savannah, a fresh set of eyes through which to see the old city and a sense that history is in a constant state of flux.”
To view the discussion of the project via Zoom, click here. For more information about Savannah History Remix, visit cah.georgiasouthern.edu/history/savannah-history-remix/