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becca hayes

becca hayes

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June 1, 2015

Visualizing Street Harassment Continues

June 1, 2015 | By | No Comments

Visualizing Street Harassment is an online map-based visualization of a born-digital cultural event, the “10 Hours of Walking…” video meme. I launched the first version in early May. In that first phase of the project, I focused on establishing the general framework of the site, collecting a small, diverse sample of “10 Hours of Walking…” videos, and gaining the technical skills necessary to accomplish those tasks. Though I accomplished much of what I’d hoped for in the initial phase, I discovered some limitations as I worked. First, the one-page webpage theme I selected limits the contextual information I could include without overwhelming the introductory framework, and, thus, the audience. Additionally, in working through the technical aspects of the project and the basic framework, I did not include as much analysis as the project has potential for.

Based on those limitations, after the project launched, I aimed to continue the project by 1) increasing both the quantity of pins and 2) the depth of analysis and context of each pin/video. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been collecting and analyzing additional videos. So far, I’ve identified 27 more “10 Hours of Walking…” videos to include across the map, in addition to the 12 currently you currently see there.

One interesting new challenge I’ve encountered is parody videos that feature fictional characters in fictional locations. For example, “10 Hours of Walking in Archeage as a Woman” portrays a female video game character walking in ArcheAge, a MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role-playing game). Because Visualizing Street Harassment employs a global map-based visualization, there’s no obvious place to pin these kinds of videos; however, I do think they’re important to include, so I’ll be working on a solution to this issue as the project moves forward.

By the beginning of July, I plan to have the rest of those videos and their descriptions added to the map. Then for remainder of the summer, I’ll be building and writing the content for individual analysis pages for each video. Watch for the full launch in late August!

becca hayes

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May 8, 2015

The Launch of Visualizing Street Harassment

May 8, 2015 | By | No Comments

shmapWhen I started the CHI Fellowship last fall, I had several ideas about projects I might undertake over the course of the year. Serendipitously, on October 28th, 2014, about two months into my fellowship, a video,“10 Hours of Walking as a Woman in NYC,” went viral. The documentary-style video aims to capture the street harassment experiences of a woman walking through NYC. As someone who has not only experienced street harassment in my daily life, but has also studied the feminist and queer rhetorics surrounding anti-street harassment activism, especially storytelling as an organizing strategy, I watched with interest as digital and public discussions about street harassment increased. That interest has resulted in my project,Visualizing Street Harassment, which maps responses to the “10 Hours of Walking as a Woman in NYC.

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becca hayes

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March 20, 2015

Mapping Street Harassment Activism

March 20, 2015 | By | No Comments

The Washington Post called 2014 the year that street harassment became a public conversation. As someone who studies activist rhetorics about street harassment and the impact of digital technologies on rhetorical historiography, I was keeping a close eye on the events that contributed to the rise in discourse around street harassment in public spaces, particularly digital ones, like Twitter and Youtube.

One of those events, was a video called, “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman,” produced by Rob Bliss Creative, and released on YouTube on October 28, 2014 by Hollaback, an anti-street harassment organization, self-described as “a movement to end street harassment powered by a network of local activists around the world.” The video is an edited 2-minute clip of a “conventionally beautiful woman” who walked through NYC for 10 hours and experienced over a 100 incidents of street harassment.

In its first day online, the video had over 10 million views  and, in its first month, over 37 million views and nearly 140,000 comments on YouTube. There are also hundreds of videos, video responses, blogs, and born-digital media articles that mimic, support, mock, and lambast the video, makers, funders, research methods, subjects, politics, agenda.  In short, the video played a key part in the exploding public conversations about street harassment in public and digital spaces.

Watching that public conversation unfold, I became interested in how people took up the video’s format of filming someone walking in public spaces for extended amounts of time to problematize mainstream, non-profit , white, feminist anti-street harassment activism.

For the initial phase of my CHI project this spring,  I use Mapbox Studio as a tool to begin curating, mapping, and rhetorically analyzing a small sample of the videos that employ the “10 Hours of Walking…” format.  Some of those videos include “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman in Hijab,” “10 Hours of Walking in Paris as a Jew,” “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a White Man,” and “10 Hours of Walking in Seattle as an Asian.” I’m particularly interested in ways in which the video creators’ adapt the  “10 Hours of Walking…” meme as a productive way to draw attention to the the complexity of interactions between movement in public spaces and seemingly visible identity markers such as race, religion, gender, ethnicity, sexuality. nationality, and ability.

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November 20, 2014

Professional Development for Possibilities Outside the Professoriate Track

November 20, 2014 | By | One Comment

As a doctoral student in rhetoric and writing who came to graduate school with an interest in the connections between the arts, social justice, and community-engaged scholarship and with experience working in various nonprofit settings focused on literacy and arts, I have always kept one eye on non-academic positions and the possibility of seeking out professional development, assistantships, and research opportunities that would situate me well to follow my gaze back to the nonprofit world whence I came. As I get closer and closer to looking the job market in the eye next year, I find myself thinking increasingly about the best ways to market my academic research, teaching, and administrative experiences and skills for the traditional tenure-track professoriate, even as I continue to develop additional skills and experiences. Now is great time to be interested in these types of positions because universities are increasingly attentive to how they can prepare graduate students for these types of jobs, and Michigan State University has many related initiatives, including the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative and the CHI Fellowship.

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becca hayes

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September 25, 2014

CHI Fellowship Introduction: Becca Hayes

September 25, 2014 | By | One Comment

Greetings! I’m a third year PhD student in Rhetoric and Writing. I earned my BS in Psychology with a Writing Studies minor and my MA degree in English with an emphasis in Composition from North Dakota State University. My MA thesis was an archival project on the rhetorics of identity surrounding abortion legislation and activism in North Dakota, prior to Roe v. Wade.

In addition to continued work on iterations of that research, I also have an ongoing project examining how cisgender women and LGBTQIA folks use storytelling and digital media and tools to organize against street harassment, and I’m working on a book chapter theorizing rhetorics of fetal ultrasounds and gender normativity, alongside my own experience of stillbirth, using a queer framework. Last semester, I was a member of the first cohort of writing residents at MSU’s Broad Museum. Through my public readings, I explored ideas of art, activism, history, and social memory.  If you’re interested, check out the residency archive on the Broad Writing Residency Tumblr.

On the pedagogical side of things, I’m interested in decolonial community-engaged approaches to research and writing in writing courses, especially classes on issues of culture and justice. I’ve taught a few different community-based courses, including a first-year writing course in which students engaged in research with communities and used WordPress and Google Maps platforms to share community stories.

As you may be able to tell, my scholarly interests are many; however, they generally fit within queer and feminist rhetorics, community-engaged methodologies and pedagogies, and public rhetorics and activism, both historically and currently. I’m increasingly interested in questions at the intersections of LGBTQIA communities and digital heritage, such as:

  • How is digitization reshaping the herstories and archiving of queer communities?
  • How have queer cultures preserved their stories, practices, knowledges, languages, and hestories through print and material culture? How is digitization shifting those practices?

I think thosse questions fit well within the interdisciplinary field of cultural heritage informatics and digital cultural heritage in that they focus on the how, that is, the methodologies of, cultures and communities in recording and preserving their pasts, presents, and futures, and I’m looking forward to exploring those issues within the context of the CHI Fellowship this year, although I have yet to settle on one specific project. I’m also incredibly excited to increase my technical skills by building with digital tools and applications, and, already, I’m enjoying the collaborative experience of engaging with and learning from the other CHI Fellows.